Arctic Monkeys – Mini Mansions – The Wiltern – 10-1-13 Arctic Monkeys – Mini Mansions – The Wiltern – 10-1-13

Photos by Michelle Shiers Photography // Words By Ben Irwin

Arctic Monkeys

Mini Mansions

This app for everything, immediate gratification world we live in has laid waste to global boundaries at a dizzying rate. Even so it still involves two handfuls of magic if a band from outside the lower 48 is to make their mark here in a meaningful way. Millions have been squandered by record labels in ill-fated attempts at bringing their countries top acts here to the states; sometimes they just don’t translate.

Whatever Arctic Monkeys are doing to appeal to every human being on earth needs to be bottled up and served on the rocks. This insanely popular quartet seems to be vying with the likes of Pulp and Def Leopard for the biggest thing out of Sheffield since stainless steel. Maybe the city’s just good at making things that polish up nice and bright.

The Arctic Monkeys that showed up at the Wiltern this first of October weren’t the t-shirts and hoodies, hesitantly punk band that they once were. What we got this night was the thousand dollar suit, no hair out of place, lady killer version of the band.

Even before the doors opened the six block line of kids around the Wiltern squirmed and swayed like so many popcorn kernels amongst the oil. By the time Arctic Monkeys opened with their newish’ single “Do I Wanna Know?” the whole place squealed like an unattended teapot. When they played “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor” the Wiltern reached a Bieber’esk decibel level, I was just waiting for some cliché like a hyperventilating tween to pass out, but if it happened I must have missed it. Everything about the show was smoother than I expected. The look, the music, the moves, they were all neat and tight. These days the guys are trying to channel Elvis (Presley or Costello, both make sense here) way more than The Buzzcocks. At some point over the years these guys traded in the scuz and grit for sarcastic and seductive; the crowd of early twenties devoured it.

The transformation from the early days made a little more sense when Queens Of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme joined them on-stage for their track “Knee Socks”, which our photographer Michelle informed me was one of a handful of songs they’re worked with Homme on over the years. I mean if anyone has mastered the effortless perfect rock song it’s Homme, and a lot of QOTSA’s dark but poppy vibes has found there way into AM’s bag. Arctic Monkey’s last song of the three days they sold out The Wiltern was the hit “R U Mine?”, which judging by the crowds fervor, the answer seemed to be a resounding, “Yes, all of LA is yours”.

Arctic Monkeys // The Wiltern // 10-1-13 Photo Gallery

Los Angeles based Mini Mansions were a great fit for the direct support of Arctic Monkeys, bringing some of the best musicians LA has to offer to this international affair. The glossy trio features Michael Shuman from Queens of the Stone Age and longtime friends/musicians Tyler Parkford and Zach Dawes. With their names in lights behind them the guys introduced themselves to hordes of AM fans with a set that sounded like it could have scored a movie. Fluttering, psychedelic, and macabre throughout the music provided fascinating contrast to the well groomed pop that was about to come from Arctic Monkeys. Dealing in the trade of subtlety Mini Mansions captivated those in the crowd with a modicum of restraint, and for the other’s… well those fans were bollocks anyway.

Mini Mansions // The Wiltern // 10-1-13 Photo Gallery

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