Review: Arctic Monkeys bring brash attitude, energy to the Ritz Ybor in Tampa
Deliberately paced and spotlighting its moodier material, the Arctic Monkeys’ April 2010 set at the Ritz Ybor felt like a statement of maturity: Those brash kids who shook up the dance floor in the mid-‘00s are all grown up now.
Sunday night at the same venue, the kids were back.
Frontman Alex Turner and co. delivered a set that barely paused for breath from the careening tempo changes of opener Pretty Visitors though the Duran Duran-quoting Teddy Picker, before signing off with the reflective 505.
Turner sported a Goth-pompadour hairdo seemingly borrowed from Misfits-era Glenn Danzig. He delivered his witty lyrics with a healthy dose of sex appeal, usually absent if not verboten in indie rock.
As was the case last year, indefatigable drummer Matt Helders was amazing. He was both steady and flashy at speeds just shy of Slayer, a big part of why the energy never lagged during the set.
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair lurched with menace, while mid-tempo numbers such as Black Treacle got a shot of energy lacking on the recorded versions.
The Monkeys played about half of latest album, Suck It and See, including the title track and She’s Thunderstorms, a jangly, Merseybeat-referencing cut.
The Ritz crowd cheered wildly from the time the house lights went down until they came up roughly 75 minutes later. Newer tunes such as Brick by Brick and the wonderfully-titled The Hellcat Spangled Shalala were greeted just as enthusiastically as was I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor, the song that introduced Arctic Monkeys to the world half a decade ago.
Opening act Smith Westerns showed the limitations of good songs in a live setting. The quintet had its harmonies, melodies and arrangements down pat but showed little in the way of personality. The band seemed content to play in the shadows, hardly acknowledging the audience until announcing its last song.
-- Curtis Ross, tbt*