Photo: Lucy Sherman
The Arctic Monkeys' manager had the right idea picking such an intimate venue for the band's Boston show on Wednesday - it's just too bad the band didn't follow through on it. While the Paradise Rock Club was packed with fans who were getting down and sweaty to the music, the band stayed stiffer than a Jack and Coke on stage.
As the crowd jammed out to the Monkeys' new album Humbug, a decidedly more hard-punk album than their earlier material, but still distinctly "their sound," the band hardly swayed. The crowd continued to go nuts for old throwback faves like "Crying Lightning," "I Bet That You Look Good on the Dancefloor," and still the band hardly seemed to bat an eyelash, let alone bust a move. During "Florescent Adolescent," the crowd was so into the music, they actually sang the lyrics louder than Alex Turner, the lead singer.
Regardless of the audience's positive reaction, the bottom line is that a dance-punk band needs to... well... dance. One could listen to the Monkeys turned up on a stereo and basically get the same show that took place at the Paradise on Wednesday. When a fan like myself attends a performance, I expect more than playbacks from the album I was rockin' out to the night before, I want some energy and creativity. There was more movement on stage when the staff threw balled-up set-lists into the crowd after the finale than there was all night from the band.
Hopefully the Monkeys will lose the constipated look on stage and get loosened up as they continue to tour for their new album - if so, their performance will certainly be more convincing, and less disappointing.
VIEW: Photo slideshow of the Arctic Monkeys at the Paradise.
--By Keir Bristol