Last Night: Arctic Monkeys at the Palladium Ballroom

Arctic Monkeys
Palladium Ballroom
August 1, 2011

Better than:
watching a trainwreck the Kings of Leon

Artic-11 (1).jpg
Mike Brooks / commiebike.com
Arctic Monkeys

It's hard to believe British garage rockers Arctic Monkeys have been kicking around for nearly a decade. 

It makes us feel a tad bit old to think of ourselves barely at drinking age, watching the raw youngsters perform their biggest hit to-date, "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor," on late night television.

We felt almost as old as standing among a throng of folks dropped off by their parents to watch the band perform at The Palladium Ballroom last night.

Somewhat ironically, however, though the band's fan base has remained roughly the same age, their sound has grown by leaps and bounds. 

Ranging from big Sabbath-esque arena-ready numbers to polished syncopated garage rock tunes, the band has become seasoned vets along the way, learning just how to seamlessly throw in dramatic tempo changes, mature, sweeping dynamics, and intricate bits of color every now and then. 

All told, it made things like drummer Matt Helders' stick twirls and a dramatic mid-song pause by frontman Alex Turner during "Brick By Brick" come off more seasoned than showy. 

But although the band has gotten better, cultivating a bigger, more polished, arena rock sound over the last several years, they've arguably never made a record as good as their debut. 

Look no further than oldies like "Still Take You Home" which are now beefier and well-refined than their naïve garage-y album versions, while still retaining a fair amount of that original charm. 2005's Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not was heaped with such impossible-to-live-up-to praise (shortly after its release UK's NME magazine called it "the 5th best British album of all time," as well as saying the Monkeys were this generations most important band) that it is more than impressive to see they've not only survived it, but come through the ordeal a stronger band that looks poised to last the long haul.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
The initial dread I feel pulling up to a venue and realizing it's an all-ages show quickly dissipates the first time I head to the absolutely line-free bar.

By The Way: It's August. It's Texas. It's fucking hot. Somehow Turner made it through several songs before removing his leather jacket, although lead guitarist Jamie Cook never did take off his damn denim jacket.

Location Info

Map

Palladium Ballroom - CLOSED

1135 S. Lamar Road, Dallas, TX

Category: Music

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8 comments
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Caitlin
Caitlin

Going to the show in Austin tonight.  What time did each act go on?  Just curious how much time I have to chow down on some Stubb's BBQ first.

Mike
Mike

8pm / 9pm in Dallas.  Your results may differ :)

Caitlin
Caitlin

Nope, same here!  And the show was a blast.  A very very sweaty blast...

Nic Rodriguez
Nic Rodriguez

I had the same roller coaster of emotion when we walked up as well. I'm not a fan of all-ages shows, but I am a fan of never waiting more than 30s for a beer. By the time the show was rolling, you could walk up to any bartender and grab a coldie.

I have a feeling my next show at the Palladium (Avett Bros, 10/14) won't be the same...

Caleb
Caleb

No mention of the opener Young Buffalo. Heard them before, knew who was opening coming in(unlike most), & was blown away by their performance. Knew the monkeys would bring their best on their US opener, In Dallas of all places.

Nick R.
Nick R.

Nice shot, Mike. 

Mike
Mike

thanks Nick :)  And thanks to the Observer :)

Darryl
Darryl

Ha! better than Kings of Leon! I remember years ago when the Monkeys played Granada and the line was around the block. I had a couple of extra tickets and so I had my son run up and down the line yelling "free tickets" and then give them to whoever was the first to ask for them. It was amazing how long he had to run up and down that line before someone stopped him. At first, they didn't believe it and thought it was a scam.

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