Tonight George and I finally got to see a gig together on Australian soil! YAY!
We went to see Arctic Monkeys, with support from The Grates, at the Palace. Byron and I got there just before 5pm, and there were surprisingly few people there. When we went to see Franz in January, at 5 there were already quite a few people queued up. I suppose the cold weather kept everyone away. We stood there shivering in the wind and made friends with Ingrid and Elkie. They're very nice :) made the three hours pass slightly faster. Georgina turned up around 7:40 and I had to bail her out with parking...fucking expensive down at the Palace. Lucky Byron and I got a park on Acland St for free.
Thanks to Byron's and my earliness we got a very very good possie, at the barrier just to left of centre, and I proved yet again that I'm completely and utterly spoilt for the front. The Grates were scheduled to come on at 9:15 and I was practically hyperventilating when I saw a flash of silver sparkles which indicated that Patience (who, by the way, I'd totally turn for) stuck her head out for a peek. at 9:15 on the dot the lights went down, the cheers went up and Patience, Alana and John took to the stage...and immediately launched into Trampoline. Which is like, my most favouritest Grates song. So that pretty much made my night right there. Patience, apart from being fucking adorable, is incredibly energetic, jumping and dancing around like a maniac. She'd give Ricky from Kaiser Chiefs a run for his money. Now there's two bands that I'd like to see play together. They were just so much fun. Joyous is probably a more accurate description. They all obviously take joy in performing, and it makes them so marvellous to watch. Elkie said I had a big grin on my face for their entire set. I hope I can see them live again soon. George said I should call Brendan during Science is Golden but I couldn't reach my phone.
The Grates finished at 10pm sharp, and Georgina and I scored one of the setlists, which was very exciting. Then Arctic Monkeys roadies started setting up, and suddenly it was like there was a giant magnet on the stage drawing everyone in, because it suddenly became extremely crowded. I commented that a mosh pit is probably the only place where I wouldn't particularly mind having a complete stranger's sweaty crotch pressed against my backside. I'm pretty sure someone copped a feel too but you get that. The press photographers turned up, and I felt like telling them that they really missed a good opportunity to get some excellent gig shots of The Grates. They were also blocking our view but assured us they would only stay for three songs.
Soon enough the lights dimmed and the chant started up: 'MOOOONKEEEEYS, MOOOOONKEEEEYS...' and just when I thought I couldn't get more compressed into the barrier, suddenly I was beginning to seriously worry about the state of my ribs. Then four (surprisingly short) Northern English boys walked out onto stage, doffed instruments and began with Riot Van...which is my favourite Monkeys song. So that pretty much made my night again. The crowd sang along with every word. Without pausing they segued straight into The View From The Afternoon. 'Anticipation has a habit to set you up for disappointment in evening entertainment but, tonight there's gonna be some love, tonight there's gonna be a ruckus regardless of what's come before'. A pretty knowing thing to sing.
It would be fair to say that Arctic Monkeys are the most hyped band of 2006. I for one think that they lived up to that hype. They may not be as charismatic as say Franz Ferdinand, but they're a bunch of boys who are my age, so that's kind of expected. They sound fantastic live, really tight. I'm not sure of the name of the bassist who replaced Andy Nicholson, but he's darn good. Alex was wearing a black t-shirt with the words 'I LOVE YOU WILL U MARRY ME' scrawled across in white, which I think was just asking for it. Georgina yelled 'The answer's yes!' but I don't think he heard. He's a bit young for her anyway XD Funnily enough, there was no encore. It could be either because Alex was a bit pissed off with the crowd (we had two dickheads standing right behind us yelling things at Alex all night) or because they honestly weren't going to do one anyway. There wasn't one written on the setlist so I think it was probably the latter.
So, the gig was great. I came away happy and sweaty and I'm bruised pretty much everywhere, and feeling rather tender everywhere else. Byron scored Alex's pick so he's very pleased, and I tripled my band t-shirt collection by buying Grates and Monkeys t-shirts. Admittedly the Monkeys one was a bootleg...but $10. Seriously. Call me tight but I already shelled out $66 for the ticket. And George and I finally saw a gig together! Hopefully it's something that we'll do more of in the future.
PS George blogged about this too. Go check it out.
PPS George and I split the Grates setlist and we're both going to put them up in our rooms. Beats a silly friendship necklace any day!