I bought the tickets for Arctic Monkeys’ concert in Sheffield three days after I arrived in the city.
It was September the 22nd, one month and three weeks before the actual gig, and I was with an Italian friend of mine in a Spanish restaurant in Meadowhall. We were both newly settled and felt we should have done something more properly local than eating ethnic stuff in a mall; so we decided to blow our budget and buy the tickets, even though the gig was sold out already and it would have cost a lot. But after all: Arctic Monkeys from Sheffield in Sheffield, how cool was that? Coming from Italy, we both had never even heard of the city before they came on the scene. Excitement mounted up day after day: my friend was a long-term fan, I used to think they were incredibly overrated but I had really loved the new album.
By the day of the concert, tension had reached its climax. It was all about looking as much of a Sheffielder as possible for the event and trying to get to the Arena on time for being in the first row. After the disillusionment of finding out that in Sheffield too there are Starbucks, H&M and all those hideous chains that simply replicate themselves over and over making any city identical to any other on a random parallel, Arctic Monkeys playing in Sheffield looked as unique as the Parthenon.
Now, before talking about the concert, I do feel the responsibility of making a preface: on that very same day some scum stole my laptop by breaking the window of my room and helping himself while I was in the kitchen preparing lunch. They immediately arrested him but not before he could get rid of my adored pc; police told me they might call again at night in case they had news, so I spent the entire concert holding the camera in one hand and my mobile in the other, begging for a phone call.
Arctic Monkeys really helped, too. As I said before, I am a converted fan, and that made me the most enthusiastic supporter of the kids. But the concert was just….