Review: Arctic Monkeys Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino O2 Arena 09.09.2018

Crawlin’ back to the O2 – the Monkeys debuted new haircuts, new tunes and even more dad dancing


“That rock ‘n’roll, eh? That rock’n’roll, it just won’t go away… It might hibernate from time to time, and sink back into the swamp. I think the cyclical nature of the universe in which it exists demands it adheres to some of its rules. But it’s always waiting there, just around the corner. Ready to make its way back through the sludge and smash through the glass ceiling, looking better than ever. Yeah, that rock’n’roll, it seems like it’s faded away sometimes, but it will never die… And there’s nothing you can do about it.”

And he wasn’t wrong. One of the last times we saw the Monkeys at the O2 Arena, ¾ of them were sheepishly stood behind Alex Turner while he delivered the now infamous above speech. Fond memories of that 2014 BRIT Award ceremony: the debut of the Danny Zuko-esque quiff era and rounded off with the iconic quote, “Invoice me for the mic if you need to” before dropping on the floor in front of sea of gawping music-biz people.


Image Credit: Jenn Five/NME


Now, “looking better than ever”, the Monkeys have sauntered back into the famous venue, Turner rocking a newly shaven head, 70s suit and tinted sunglasses, like a school teacher-meets Bono. Details from their music videos have been heavily dosed amongst the set, which gave a sense of surrealism for someone like myself, an avid fan who’s had to wait 5 long years for their return and this moment.


Image Credit: Jenn Five/NME


The reoccurring red lights slowly flashed on and off as the sound intensified and filled the arena, a completely mirrored-feeling to the TBH&C music video. For the opening track, the impeccable bass was delivered from none other than Nick O’Malley who sends the entirety of the O2 into a frenzy with Four Out of Five. The set continued through lashings of old and new material, with a treat from Mr Miles Kane with his, now standard, joint 505 performance. Other standouts from the set list (see full set list below) were Crying Lightning, Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino, One Point Perspective and Cornerstone.


Image Credit: Jenn Five/NME


They swiftly exit the stage after I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor before swanning back in shortly after for the encore. Their return was met with a huge levitating golden dice pirouetting as Turner crooned the famous Star Treatment lyrics, “Well, maybe I was a little too wild in the 70s/ Rocket-ship grease down the cracks of my knuckles/ Karate banada/ Warp speed chic/ Hair down to there/ Impressive moustache”. Encore also featured Arabella and, finally, R U Mine?

When the world famous band wrapped up the set and walked off stage, I couldn’t help but wonder when would be the next time they would grace a London stage. Will it be another 5-year wait? And more importantly, what will Alex’s hair look like next time?


Image Credit: Jenn Five/NME


You can still find Arctic Monkeys tickets here:

Set List:

Four Out of Five


Snap Out of It

Crying Lightning

Teddy Picker

505 (With Miles Kane and ‘The Jam of Boston’ transition outro)

Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino

Do Me A Favour

Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair

Dancing Shoes

One Point Perspective


Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?

Knee Socks

Science Fiction

Do I Wanna Know?

Pretty Visitors

I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor


Star Treatment


R U Mine?

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