A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

A Review-Based Student Publication of Townsend Harris High School

The Classic Critic

Arctic Monkeys Heat Up Forest Hills Stadium


Copy Edited by Samia Orva

Rating: 5/5 

As fans have been starved for a show since 2018, the Arctic Monkeys have finally returned to the Forest Hills stadium in Queens. The last time that the Arctic Monkeys performed live in New York was their performance at King’s Theater, and it was done only for a video. On September 8th and 9th, the doors were finally opened to fans who fought for their tickets all the way back in October of 2022.

I attended both performances that weekend. Each setlist was generally the same, going as follows:

  • “Sculptures Of Anything Goes”
  • “Crying Lightning” 
  • “Teddy Picker”
  • “Arabella”
  • “I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor”

And many other of their famous and less recognized songs. 

The performance opened with Irish band Fontaines D.C., who had a phenomenal set, performing with a level of energy that kept the audience amped even in the grueling humidity. As someone who was not a frequent listener of Fontaines D.C., each and every song they performed impressed me. They’re certainly a band that can leave an impression, even when performing next to the Arctic Monkeys themselves. 

The moments before the Arctic Monkeys entered the stage, a strange and comedical British rave song was played, causing the crowd to murmur in collective amusement until it ended abruptly. Immediately, the stadium was hit with a glare of red lights, with the band’s silhouettes finally visible, unifying fans with the familiar bass riff of “Do I Wanna Know. 

Although there was a decent crowd for Fontaines D.C., I had never been to a show at Forest Hills Stadium with the amount of people that were there for the Arctic Monkeys. The crowd was pouring out the doors and filling every possible seat in the stadium to see Alex Turner swing around his microphone stand to “Pretty Visitors.” Each person was so excited to scream “Knee Socks” at the top of their lungs, and take pictures of the dazzling mirrorball that came down during “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball” (how’d they think of that one) — the suffocating conditions couldn’t have bothered them less. 

Alex Turner is known for getting creative with his music, there being a noticeable shift in sound from A.M. to Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, and his performance is no exception. He’s known to change the tempo of his own songs randomly to throw off audiences trying their best to sing along. Fans speculate: is this a way to take back his own music that’s become so popularized by the media? Or is he just silly. 

Either way, this does create an awkward dissonance between the crowd and what’s being played, but it’s all a part of Turner’s many stage quirks. Fans have commented that Alex Turner does not know how to dance, and they would be right. He puts his arms up and holds them there in an awkward fashion. He occasionally kicks air, and sometimes he holds up his guitar like he’s a batter about to swing (but never swings). Personally, this is not a criticism. It’s wildly entertaining to see a band who’s been famous for so long still be able to have fun and show some personality onstage, breaking their whole “hot rockstar” persona. The Arctic Monkeys have quite literally dazzled their fans once again. 

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About the Contributor
Brynna Quigley, Music Editor
Brynna is a senior at Townsend Harris High School. She has been an editor for The Critic for two years and enjoys painting, reading, and seeing friends in her free time.
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    ElaineSep 29, 2023 at 6:48 pm

    Great review!