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Arctic Monkeys Play a Stone Cold Set

SAN FRANCISCO: Their stage presence might be a bit chilly, but the Arctic Monkeys keep the sold-out crowd dancing in a gilded San Francisco theater.

“The party’s on the balcony, or so it seems,” coolly noted Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner from center stage of San Francisco’s Warfield. Sure, the cheap seats were rowdy during last night’s (May 1) sold-out engagement, but Turner could’ve looked under his nose for the real action: a sweaty, bouncing gang that eventually made the yawning vaudevillian hall humid with a bouquet of hair product and hipster armpit. After a bombastic opening set from Nashville punk pups Be Your Own Pet, the MySpace darlings mixed old hits with selections from the recent Favourite Worst Nightmare in a performance that was air-tight, if vacant of theatrics.

But if the band offered a dispassionate pose, the kids in front (some of whom had waited six hours to get in) lost it over early-set bangers like “Dancing Shoes,” “Balaclava,” and “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor.” “Fluorescent Adolescent” raucously thumbed its nose at the school night curfew, and “Certain Romance” left demands for an encore frigidly unfulfilled. All told, the Arctic Monkeys would flirt with utter brilliance if they weren’t so darn bored. NATE CAVALIERI / PHOTOS BY MUHAMMAD ASRANUR

We asked: If you were to name your band after an animal, what would it be, and why?