Our mission that we undoubtedly accepted on yet another cold and hazy day, was to arrive extremely early the morning of 12.12.13 in Columbia, Missouri so that we can queue all day. Despite being half asleep, caffeine deprived, and still wearing the clothes we wore the day before in Tulsa.. Nothing would stop us.
We arrived at the Blue Note around 8:30 am and despite all the traffic in the city, it was pretty much a ghost town. All the shops were closed so we had no choice but to play the waiting game.
Finally, a local coffee shop about two doors down from the Blue Note opened and we chose that as our home away from home to make ourselves presentable… Basically we didn’t want to look like we spent the whole night driving in day old makeup/clothes and being hyped from already seeing them the night before in Tulsa.
As we were taking turns to make ourselves look like we didn’t spend the night in a car, we found a local paper (The Vox Magazine) that wrote an article about Arctic Monkeys performing that very day. Of course we snagged the last four available copies, we just knew it was a good omen.
After we freshened up (and made ourselves look like actual humans and not like the sleepless rock n roll loving zombies that we were) we got our much-needed coffee fix and breakfast snacks so that we can get our blankets and pillows out so that we can start the fun and joyous adventure of waiting in line on the freezing sidewalk floor.
While sipping our coffee, one of the manager’s noticed our dedication and asked if he could snap our photo to add to the Blue Notes official instagram that we were camping out, of course we obliged.
After getting our picture taken, the other half of our concert buddies showed up which allowed us to rotate shifts in line so that no one would get restless, tired, or burned out from the frigid brisk air that we definitely weren’t used to. Trust me seeing myself (a girl from Texas) and 3 Floridians try to adapt to actual winter weather is a sight to see.
There is nothing like meeting really cool, down to earth people while waiting queuing for a concert. You bond over your love of a band whose music just speaks to your soul. Other everyday, people just don’t understand it but they do, and there is no judgement only encouragement and admiration of the band and their music.
I swear it felt as if time stood still, 8:30 pm seemed to take an eternity. We were still queuing in line except we were now huddling together to keep warm, sitting on blankets while simultaneously being covered in blankets, pillows, and extra jackets.
We did manage to meet the opening band at the coffee shop next door, they were such sweet, down to earth guys and we couldn’t pass up a photo-op. Even if we looked rough as hell.
FINALLY THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR… I make my way to the barricade after getting tagged/scanned and found that my ideal place is wide open. (I’m a center barrier kind of girl). I take my place and it feels like… Hold on, we’re going home.
We watch the roadies get the stage/instruments ready and we get restless while waiting for Fly Golden Eagle to take the stage. FINALLY. The lights go off and the incredibly cute guys with their long hair don’t care attitude take the stage (seriously google them, now).
They got the crowd pumped with their sound, which reminds me of a classic rock style with a bit of a psychedelia. My favorite has to be the song Pysche’s Dagger, it’s pure energy live, it has this synth-infusion with a bit of a Brit-rock twist. Make it Memorable is also a standout.
I enjoyed hearing the band and being able to see them a second time, definitely going to be looking out for them.
The stage goes dark again and the AM road crew, are setting up the lads instruments and equipment. I love when the AM roadies do their magic, it’s exciting to see the equipment being brought out because you know that shit is about to get real plus we need to thank roadies and their hard work for what they do.
The crowd starts to get anxious and rowdy which makes it all the more thrilling when the lights start to flash and then…. You hear it.
That opening music that you know because you re-watched Arctic Monkeys Glastonbury set over and over again. It’s the most dramatic yet exciting opening number and it never fails to give me chills/goosebumps. Yes, it’s THAT good.
Then you see Alex, Matt, Jamie, and Nick walk out and wave to crowd and Matt starts to bang the drums and Alex starts that sexy guitar riff from Do I Wanna Know? and that’s when:
A). You either lose all control and let your inner fan girl come out (even though you try to hide her from the world, you can’t help it cause the song is so electric and sexy, even more so live) or
B). You just stand there and sing along while throwing your arms in the air from pure amazement and awe.
Don’t Sit Down Cause I Moved Your Chair
Snap Out Of It
Old Yellow Bricks
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
One for the Road
R U Mine?
Lots of sexy guitar riffs and genius lyrics thanks to front man Alex Turner (who is a brilliant lyricist) mixed with some cheesy dance moves that are so awful and cringe worthy that they are good. Seriously, he has some of the worst dad moves I’ve seen but you can’t keep your eyes off of him because his voice, along with those epic dance moves are absolutely mesmerizing. Plus he adds this random quirky charm when he says random things… Like right before Dancing Shoes he mentioned Coco Pops..? Not sure where he was going on about but it was funny.
Next, add the wicked electric guitar brought to you by the incredible (and always dapper) Jamie Cook who has these bewitching moves while performing. Need convincing that Jamie is awesome? (don’t know why you need convincing) look him up and watch him perform, especially during the Arabella (War Pigs snippet). Talk about chills.
Can’t forget about that bass which is played by sexy Jesus himself (inside joke) Nick O’Malley. Nick is a quiet force to be reckoned with, his bass is crucial in the sex appeal sound that is Arctic Monkeys. When that bass drops, you hear it. It just takes it to the next level. Seeing him work that bass and raise it up towards the glowing lights is a sight to see.
Last and definitely not least, was the agile beast. Matt Helders is an absolute monster on the drums. He has this charisma and raw energy that you can’t deny when he’s performing. Nick O’Malley can attest to that, Matt was slaying it on the drums that he hit Nick with one of his coveted drumsticks in the arm which was hilarious to see because they both broke out laughing. Matt of course continued with just the one until he got an extra drumstick and continued to kill it.
The night was incredible, the crowd was rowdy and everyone was so into the show. It was undeniable. You could feel the energy in that room. You would literally move with the crowd as if it were a school of fish.
After their final encores they thanked the crowd graciously while retreating to backstage area, which was downstairs behind the equipment. They all go one by one but Alex stays back continuing to wave goodbye and going down a step at a time as if he were in a parade. It was something stupidly funny and of course everyone loved it.
Now is the time when people start to get more pushy because those hardworking roadies come out to break down equipment and give away treasured items like setlists, guitar picks, and drumsticks. I managed to score a setlist which included Jamie Cooks pick inside but I handed it over to my buddy Teri because I already had gotten the setlist from Tulsa from the night before.
People behind us getting more antsy and pushy because Alex’s coveted blue guitar picks are being thrown into the crowd, there was one right in front of me that Alex threw (with bad aim) right to me after Arabella and I finally managed to get the guards attention and told him I caught it but dropped it due to the crowd, he handed it over to me.
The last thing to be given to the crowd were those drumsticks which are like Olympic torches. It’s just a piece of wood but when you see Matt perform with them well you’d want one too. I managed to catch one of the drumsticks that Matt himself threw when they finished 505 because I didn’t want it to hit me in the head cause that’s where it was going but luckily, I caught it.
For me, scoring these types of awesome items isn’t what going to an Arctic Monkeys gigs are all about, it’s about the adrenaline pumping through your veins as you watch this band whom I’ve admired and loved for years, perform right before me. It’s a rush of excitement that I could never give up, it’s one of the best feelings in the world. So in conclusion believe the hype, my friends, it is very real.