Do You Wanna Know?
Austin's Moody Center welcomes Arctic Monkeys on 2023 North American tour
More than most, Arctic Monkeys straddle the line between true alternative and mainstream pop. With crunchy tones, and frenetic to languid songwriting that barely lends itself to dancing — as most pop exists to do — this group sounds like The Mohawk but books the Moody Center.
The U.K. band brings Irish allies Fontaines D.C. for an angsty, punchy North American tour in summer of 2023, stopping at Moody Center on September 15, 2023. The tour also stops in Fort Worth’s Dickies Arena the next night, September 16, 2023.
Although Arctic Monkeys continue to pull a younger fan base — and are younger themselves, in their mid-30s — the group has been active for 20 years, and popular for most of them. They’re six albums in with two of three original members still remaining, not without owing hugely to the charisma of frontman Alex Turner, a favorite of critics and enamored fans alike. (GQ compared Turner to Bob Dylan in August, not quite for his honest, dry lyricism, but for his new visual aesthetic.)
The group debuted with an upbeat, purposefully messy garage rock style years in the making, that immediately launched singles to No. 1 in the United Kingdom as soon as the band was signed in 2005.
When Arctic Monkeys released the official debut album, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, in the United States, the raucous guitars and Turner’s strong Northern English accent captured the hearts of listeners looking for something raw but agreeable in continuation of the trend set by bands like the Strokes, the White Stripes, and Franz Ferdinand. [“I just wanted to be one of the Strokes,” sings Turner on the 2018 track “Star Treatment.” “Now look at the mess you made me make.”]
Since the chaotic early years that birthed the timeless “Fluorescent Adolescent,” the Arctic Monkeys sound has mellowed and turned toward growling confessions like 2013’s “Do I Wanna Know?” — which spent 10 weeks at No. 1 on the alternative airplay chart, and 58 weeks in total — and the sleek Bowie-like "Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino." Turner’s increasingly smoother vocals and changing accent have become the subject of an almost bizarre amount of fan, critic, and even peer analysis.
“Body Paint” and “There’d Better Be a Mirrorball,” the group’s 2022 releases, could barely be more different than those early thrashing tracks. There’s nothing like a stadium show to dredge up all the old classics, no matter the style, so fans from all eras should look forward to the chance to review.
Tickets for the September 15, 2023 show are available through Ticketmaster.