WORDS AND IMAGES DESH KAPUR
Tonight was going to be special, when I first started doing music photography I had a mental bucket list of bands and artists I’d like to shoot and cover, top of that last list was my idol Paul Weller, but a very close second was my favourite band the Arctic Monkeys, I covered Weller a couple of years back and tonight I get to cover the Arctic Monkeys and I am beyond excited, and what a setting, Emirates Old Trafford with fifty thousand other adoring fans, throw into the mix I get to see the brilliant The Hives, who are the essence of a true rock and roll band, well bring it on I say!!
First up were The Hives and the stadium was already jam-packed, everyone must have got the memo don’t miss The Hives, you will regret it.
The Hives, are known for their high-energy garage rock sound, they take the stage and immediately had the crowd on their feet. The band members, dressed in their signature black-and-white suits, showed off their impressive stage presence with frontman Pelle Almqvist’s charismatic performance and Mick Jagger-esque dance moves.
The setlist included a mix of classics like “Hate to Say I Told You So” and newer tracks off their most recent album, showcasing their versatility as a band. The crowd was fully engaged throughout the entire show, with plenty of jumping, fist-pumping, and singing along. Even with blood pouring down his face from a swinging mic incident Pelle never stopped from the beginning of the set to the end. The Hives put on an electric performance that left the crowd thoroughly entertained and wanting more. Their infectious energy and iconic sound make for an unforgettable live experience and if some of the people gathered here tonight were unsure of who the Hives are, they know now!!!
And then it was time, my camera was shaking I was that excited, the f%^king Arctic Monkeys and I was right in front of the stage, the best seat in the house, well at least for 3 songs anyway.
The music on the PA stops and before you could even see the band the 50 thousand people erupt and its deafening, The Yorkshire rockers walk onto the stage looking super cool and launch straight into “Fluorescent Adolescent”
There is no argument to be had, it is a fact the Arctic Monkeys are one of the best British bands of all time. They reinvent themselves seemingly on every new record, from their debut album “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” and its, blending of indie rock, post-punk, and garage rock with lyrics that captured the contrasting moods of youth in the UK at the time, so iconic. Then to “AM” with its dark, moody and melodic tracks, blending elements of garage rock, R&B, and psychedelic rock into their alternative indie sound all wrapped up with introspective lyrics, underpinned with intense, hypnotic rhythms. To where we are now with “Tranquillity Base Hotel” and “The Car” an experimentally a unique shift in the band’s conventional indie rock sound into a more progressive, lounge rock, and space rock style, led by Turner’s provocative lyrics that challenge social constructs and resonate with the millennial generation. all the time whilst still being themselves, keeping their already huge fans base happy and bringing in new fans with each release, it’s so very impressive,
Tonight, the set list mixes old hits with new tracks there is something on offer for every Monkeys fan, it’s a greatest hits tour without it being a greatest hits tour and that is just because the songs are so damn good
The band is tight, and Mr Turner looks very stylish, the ultimate in cool, dressed in a wide-collared denim shirt and blazer, his quiff styled hair falling towards a pair of gold-lensed aviators, and he is on form and looking very much up for it. There is plenty of devilish hip thrusts an elegant high kick or two, he quite likes the Zoolander stylings of the turn and stare, which seems to get the crowd screaming every time he does it, his fingers skip effortlessly across his guitar. There’s very little chat., but who needs talking, when you sound this good
I’d like to pick particular songs or moments during the set, but to be honest, I can’t, of course, there are certain songs I wanted to hear and did, “R U Mine”, “Snap Out Of It” “Mardy Bum” “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor” but from start to finish, it was brilliant the band were tight and captivating and it seemed that every song they played, the packed out arena sang along with every word, even tracks from the last two more left of centre albums, it is safe to say that their live shows are undoubtedly a must-see for any fan of the band.
For me personally, I loved every minute of tonight’s gig, and the worst part of the night is when it ended
1/ FLUORESCENT ADOLESCENT
3/ SNAP OUT OF IT
4/ DONT SIT DOWN CAUSE IVE MOVED YOUR CHAIR
5/ CRYING LIGHTNING
6/ TEDDY PICKER
7/ THE VIEW FROM THE AFTERNOON
8/ FOUR OUT OF FIVE
10/ WHY’D YOU ONLY CALL ME WHEN YOUR HIGH
13/ SUCK IT AND SEE
14/ DO I WANNA KNOW?
15/ MARDY BUM
16/ THERE’D BETTER BE A MIRRORBALL
17/ 505 18/ BODY PAINT ENCORE
19/ SCULPTURES OF ANYTHING GOES
20/ I BET YOU LOOK GOOD ON THE DANCEFLOOR
21/ RU MINE?
FOLLOW ARCTIC MONKEYS
FOLLOW THE HIVES
My life is a soundtrack, i track my life through music, photography is my passion, my escape, my expression. Without both i have pieces missing, thankfully i’m blessed and get to combine both.
Born in Manchester, lived in Australia for 22 years where i was heavily involved in the Australian Music Industry, firstly in bands (Singer) and then managing bands (all original), I moved back to the UK, Wales specifically 10 years ago and married my childhood sweetheart and life is good.