Describing themselves as “The Official Tribute Band to the Arctic Monkeys”, the ‘Antarctic Monkeys’ rocked the O2 Academy in Sheffield on Saturday 15th November in front of a passionate crowd.
The ‘Antarctic Monkeys’ formed in 2006 after the release of Arctic Monkeys’ debut album ‘Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not’ that same year. Since then, they have grown in to the world’s biggest AM tribute act and perform shows across the UK and worldwide, bringing the huge anthems of the band to intimate venues.
After a show in Liverpool the previous night they now headed to Sheffield, the hometown of AM, hoping to impress the highly expectant Steel City crowd.
Supporting tonight’s gig were local acts ‘The Carousel’ and ‘Resonate’.
Indie four-piece ‘The Carousel’ were first on stage and they appeared to have a solid fan base in attendance. Impressing both current fans and newcomers alike, the band showed plenty of potential for bigger things as they performed an entertaining set that included an excellent cover of ‘Someday’ by The Strokes. Vocalist Tom joked with the crowd throughout and reveled in the audience’s applause before playing their final track, ‘What’s The Plan’.
‘Resonate’ followed with an interesting performance that divided the crowd’s opinions. Performing a set that included the songs ‘On The Run’, ‘Memories’ and closed with ‘Home’, the guitar/drum duo combined their live sound with an electronic backing track to create a sound that they describe as “electronic indie dance”.
As the support acts came to an end, the room begin to pack full of AM fans who were intrigued and excited to see what the Antarctic’s would have to offer. The excitement began to build as the lights of the ‘AM’ backdrop lit up, mimicking that first used by the real band at Glastonbury Festival 2013. The same introduction music also used by AM at that festival then began to play as the room plunged into darkness.
Just as AM always do when playing live, the Antarctic Monkeys kicked off with ‘Do I Wanna Know?’, the hit single from their latest album ‘AM’. The crowd was then sent absolutely insane as the small room of the academy was turned into one giant moshpit to the sound of ‘Brianstorm’.
And the crowd did not stop moving for the rest of the night.
The Antarctic Monkeys did an absolutely superb job of recreating the performance of the real thing. The music was performed perfectly and if you closed your eyes then it was have been difficult to tell the difference between the Arctic’s and Antarctic’s!
Just as brilliantly, all four members of the band copied the band’s mannerisms – particularly the frontman who had the slick black hair and cocky attitude of Alex Turner himself! It was a great combination of the atmosphere of an AM gig from their early days in intimate venues and the live performance and music of the band more recently!
The audience were buzzing as the band powered through hit song after hit song. “Fluorescent Adolescent”, “Teddy Picker”, “Crying Lightning”, “Dancing Shoes” and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” were just a few songs performed in a hit-packed setlist.
There was also a number of songs that are rarely, if ever, played live by the real band these days and that was a real treat for the AM fans. The likes of ”Still Take You Home’, ‘Fake Tales of San Francisco’ and ‘This House Is A Circus’ were all played by the Antarctic’s. And in a real throwback to the early days of AM, they even performed ‘Leave Before The Lights Come On’ – the third single AM ever released back in 2006 and a song that never appeared on any of their five studio albums.
The mesmerized steel city crowd never stopped singing and as the first chords of ‘When The Sun Goes Down’ were strummed on the guitar, the frontman didn’t even attempt to sing over the audience as everyone in the room belted out the lyrics to this classic track.
‘Arabella’ and ”Snap Out Of It’ from ‘AM’ was then followed by a beautiful rendition of ‘505’, for which the frontman took to the keyboard. The four-piece then thanked the crowd and left the stage.
However, with a number of hit songs still not played, the Sheffield audience knew that this was only temporary and the Antarctic’s quickly returned to the stage, receiving a rapturous reception as they did so.
‘Mardy Bum’ started the encore, before ‘Turner’ shouted “Are you mine, Sheffield?”, copying the introduction of ‘R U Mine’ used by the man himself. ‘A Certain Romance’ followed before the frontman screamed “Laaaadies” before bursting into the final song of the night, ‘I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor’, which sent the audience crazy one last time.
A truly superb performance from the Antarctic Monkeys proved why they are the number one AM tribute band. In some ways, it was better than seeing the real thing due to the intimacy of the venue as opposed to the massive arenas played by AM these days. Before leaving, the Antarctic’s said “See you next year hopefully!” And judging by the atmosphere at this gig, I doubt there are many in attendance tonight that won’t be back next time!
SETLIST: Do I Wanna Know // Brianstorm // Fluorescent Adolescent // Teddy Picker // Crying Lightning // Black Treacle // Fake Tales Of San Francisco // Still Take You Home // Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair // Dancing Shoes // This House Is A Circus // Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High? // Leave Before The Lights Come On // Old Yellow Bricks // When The Sun Goes Down // Arabella // Snap Out Of It // 505 // Mardy Bum // R U Mine? // A Certain Romance // I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor