Wig: snatched. Alex: bald. That’s about how the Arctic Monkeys’ show went last night at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in New York City. During their encore, frontman Alex Turner said they couldn’t think of a tennis song, referencing the venue’s name and clearly forgetting Lorde’s hit “Tennis Court,” before leading into their cover of “Is This It” by New York’s indie-rock icons The Strokes (although it could be debated that Lorde’s New Zealand would have been close enough).
Arctic Monkeys opened their encore with “Star Treatment,” which starts off their latest album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino and itself begins with the line, “I just wanted to be one of The Strokes.” From there AM switched to actually playing The Strokes. Turner’s smooth vocals fit the slow tempo of “Is This It” with ease, and without changing the song’s sound, it still somehow became “theirs.”
Turner debuted his shaved head on The Late Show earlier this week and has ended up looking a bit like his The Last Shadow Puppets co-conspirator Miles Kane, who has performed with Arctic Monkeys before and often rocks a buzzcut. Turner’s shedding of his slicked-back hair may have taken fans by surprise, but this cover of The Strokes isn’t totally shocking (though still exciting) because this isn’t the first time Arctic Monkeys have opted for a cover of The Strokes. They’ve previously played “Take It or Leave It,” also off Is This It, and “Reptilia.” Paste named “Is This It” and “Reptilia” two of the 20 best songs by The Strokes.
Watch Arctic Monkeys perform “Is This It” below: