The Vaccines @ Crystal Ballroom
Joined by Arctic Monkeys
Walking up to the Crystal Ballroom from a couple blocks away I hear a loud noise. It’s only 6:45, and Arctic Monkeys and Vaccines show starts at 9, but I’m there to get a famous Crystal burger and a Hammerhead pint beforehand.
Wendy and I look at each other wondering, “What the hell was that?” Then a deep 2000 bass line kicks in, like an old school thump from the early 90’s rap game. This was the faint sound of The Vaccines warming up to its hit “Post Break Up Sex” and fans lined up on the sidewalk sway to the music. The crowd was already pumped and the show was still over two hours away. After the song ended there was a faint cheering and a definitive excitement in the air for what we were all about to watch. Just then, the lead singer of The Arctic Monkeys, Alex Turner was cruised down the street, giving love to the fans, and a big peace sign before he disappeared.
People started going crazy...
I had read something preshow about the lead singer of the Vaccines being 14th from the throne, which was maybe why security had the joint on lockdown, but the beer was flowing and the crowd was set. The band ran out without an intro and began with a crazy deep 808 that hit so hard I couldn’t swallow. The floors of the Crystal Ballroom started bouncing as the four man band from the UK launched into its set. The Vaccines really have a familiar but heavier sound, familiar to The Cure and the Sex Pistols, but with that heavy UK dance beat line that makes your heart skip.
I am two feet from these guys, just off the stage, trying to put my pen to a pad of paper. My ink is hitting the page looking like Morse code, dot dot dot… The overwhelming bass is killing my writing! Although they have an obvious American influence, there were English loafers on all the blokes, along with the classic UK shaggy cut that is almost a calling card for the country's musicians. The bass loud and the snare is teeth shattering, I almost have a problem seeing (No joke). I can’t write, the floor is hopping up and down and I’m feeling sea sick.
The band opened up with “Blow It UP” giving the crowd high fives and loving the experience as much as the crowd. The second song is “Post Breakup Sex”, the top 40 song. The already sold out Arctic Monkeys crowd instantly became Vaccines fans, the crowd singing along. The band did its entire album What Did You Expect From the Vaccines like old seasoned pros. A garage sensation yesterday, the band is already starting to take over the world.
The Arctic Monkeys
This hard-hitting, high energy UK band hit the stage and the crowd just exploded. Around since 2005, this band has consistently produced high energy shows. These guys have the stage presence of a veteran band, and the lead singer is only 25. Critics have been calling the band soft lately, but based on how crazy loud it was I find that designation hard to swallow. These guys haven’t lost a step, and when “I Bet You Look Good on the Dance Floor”, dropped, the crowd let the floor have it. The Arctic Monkeys put on a hell of a show and the sellout crowd wasn’t disappointed in the least.
(editors note: we were forbidden to take pictures of the Arctic Monkeys upon penalty of death)