“We’re the Arctic Monkeys from Sheffield” – and so lead singer Alex Turner had 20,000 Mancunians in the palm of his hand.
Striding on stage in shirts and jackets, the quartet from High Green looked like a Beatles tribute act spanning the Fab Four’s career – from the early quiff days modelled by Turner and drummer Matt Helders to the long hair of later years sported by guitarists Jamie Cook and Nick O’Malley.
And some of the screams which met the first notes of opening track Do I Wanna Know? rivalled Beatlemania at its height.
It was adoration which never lessened throughout the band’s 90-minute set, as they belted through hit single after hit single.
Gone was the arrogance Turner displayed at the band’s Glastonbury Festival headline show in the summer, replaced by a singer clearly humbled by the crowd which filled the cavernous Manchester Arena on the second night of the band’s British tour.
Turner chatted between songs, checking if Manchester was ‘enjoying yersens’, before brushing off a stage invader – who ran up to Turner before almost freezing in fright – as ‘a nice fella’.
Predictably, I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor got the biggest cheer of the night, while an encore featuring a semi-acoustic Mardy Bum closed the gig in style.
Lucky fans with tickets for the quartet’s tour-ending homecoming gig – at Sheffield Arena on Saturday, November 2 – are in for a treat.