Alt-J – Trinity College – Review
Alt -J have enjoyed a relatively rapid rise to the top. Some bands spend many years surfing the smaller venues before making the break through, whereas Alt-J went straight to the main stages! Their first release was the 2012 album An Awesome Wave, which featured such tracks as Breezeblocks, Matilda, and Tessellate. The album launched them into the public consciousness, helped by their Mercury music prize victory in the same year. Their next release was This Is All Yours (2014) which was a solid album but did not receive the critical adulation of their first release. It performed well commercially, reaching number 1 in the UK charts and number 4 in the US. Their new album Relaxer was released in June of this year. The most unusual thing about the band is that they hail from Leeds. They just don’t seem like they have enough northern grit about them! They performed in the last of the Trinity Series of concerts last night.
The support on the night was from Will Joseph Cook, who seemed an unusual choice for the event. His music is quite up beat and much more mainstream than Alt-J. Despite my reservations, the crowd reacted well to him and his short set.
Alt-J are now a three piece, with the departure of bass player Gwil Sainsbury in 2014. They had an unusual arrangement on stage, with the drums brought to the front and not hidden at the back. The three members of the band arrived on stage at 9pm to start their set. It was a slow beginning with the opening track of their new album, 3WW, which has a long instrumental introduction before the vocals are introduced later (complete with a section from The Auld Triangle). The set kicked off properly with Tessellate, with the lyrics ‘Triangles are my favourite shape, Three points where two lines meet’ inspiring most of the crowd to make triangles with their hands.
There were only a few words from the band to the audience, with keyboard player Gus Unger-Hamilton taking on most of the responsibilities. They were relatively standard, thanking the audience and telling us they love playing Dublin! Still, it’s nice to know we’re appreciated. Another track from their new album ‘In cold blood’ worked well, which was quickly followed by ‘Dissolve Me’. Matilda had possibly the best reaction of any song on the night, and prompted a sing along from the assembled masses.
A three song encore was the definite highlight with two of their most popular moments in Left Hand Free and Breezeblocks to finish the night at the surprisingly early time of 10.15. They’re a band that have a large and dedicated following and this was an impressive outing from the threesome.
In Cold Blood
The Gospel of John Hurt
Every Other Freckle
Hit Me Like That Snare
Intro (An Awesome Wave)
Left Hand Free