As the iconic Glastonbury Festival unfolded, the Arctic Monkeys took to the stage amidst a wave of anticipation and mixed reactions from the crowd and viewers at home. Earlier in the week, concerns arose about frontman Alex Turner’s ability to perform due to laryngitis. However, Glastonbury co-founder Emily Eavis reassured fans at the last minute, confirming that Turner was well enough to take the stage.
The Sheffield band’s headline slot had been in question after their cancellation of a Dublin gig, leaving fans on edge until Friday afternoon when the confirmation of their performance finally came through.
Yet, on the night, some devoted fans found themselves yearning for the inclusion of tracks from the Arctic Monkeys’ earlier albums, such as the acclaimed “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not” and “Favourite Worst Nightmare.” This marked their third time headlining the legendary music festival, following their previous slots in 2007 and 2013.
As reported by the Independent, Critics voiced their disappointment, citing the band’s slower pace and apparent preference for ballads over their signature energetic hits. Social media platforms buzzed with discontent, with one fan expressing their disappointment: “Alex Turner just off the stage after butchering what could have been an iconic Glasto performance.” Others shared videos of fans appearing disinterested and being almost put to sleep by the performance. What happened here?
Another fan tweeted: “I don’t know why Alex Turner is singing like that but honestly kids, Arctic Monkeys used to be good.”
In contrast, some fans rushed to defend the Arctic Monkeys from the backlash. One Twitter user wrote: “Arctic Monkeys are quality. Turner is obviously playing some stage character, and people get wound up by it.”
Another fan argued: “Folk have some strange obsession with nostalgia, so think they all should be singing about chippys and bouncers still. And they don’t, so assume it’s s***.”
For the Arctic Monkeys, headlining Glastonbury for the third time represented a significant milestone in their career. Yet, with an evolving set that stirred mixed reactions, they left their mark on the festival’s history. It’s up to you to decide if that’s good or bad.
— Scott Lamond (@essell_37) June 23, 2023