by Ivana Markotic 

The British have been exporting the best music to North America for decades, starting with the Beatles in the 1960s and extending to Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys today.  For their third studio release, Humbug, the Arctic Monkeys returned for a one night sold out gig September 29th at Toronto’s Kool Haus.

L.A. based girl band, The Like were the openers for the evening and as the band took their place on stage, some called for “Josie and the Pussycat Dolls” to get off.  The ‘60s girl group vibe was present in all the songs but with not-so-good-girl lyrics.  Songs included “Wishing He Was Dead” and one about the walk of shame. Irony at it’s best. 

As much as their appearance has changed so have their songs.  To the cheers of “Monkeys! Monkeys!” the lads took the stage with three of the four members sporting shoulder length thicker hair and starting the night with a mellow piece from Humbug.  Queens of the Stoneage frontman Josh Homme produced the record and his stamp on the Monkeys is evident with the moodier undertones.  While new songs “Crying Lightning” and “Cornerstone” were played, their previous hits were still favourites as rated by the cheers and jumping rampage that resulted.

Thunderous riffing from “Brianstorm” and the drum heavy “The View from the Afternoon” are a rapturous earful to experience live.  The set wrapped up with “Fluorescent Adolescent” under the colourful light show of Kool Haus.  Even with an encore that included a beautiful reworked version of “505” the crowd cheered for more, but you can never get enough Arctic Monkeys.