Quick! Quick! If Alt-J hasn’t hit your town already, then you definitely need to go grab tickets for their show! If you don’t know who they are yet- click [here] to find out. Whether you do or don’t know them, keep reading because I’m going explain exactly why these guys are worth seeing live!
Since my last post, Alt-J has been nominated for “the best in commonwealth” award for the 2012 Mercury Prize Awards, and past winners for the same award included PJ Harvey, Franz Ferdinand and The XX. Upon hearing the news Alt-J‘s Gwil Sainsbury said,
“Wow. It sounds cheesy but it’s kind of like a dream come true. I’ve always watched the Mercuries and been really into them and never thought that we would ever be in the position to get a nomination. So yeah, it’s pretty surreal.” Their first full album, “An Awesome Wave” has already been getting tons of attention and I definitely recommend it to everyone.
Right in the middle of their huge tour, Alt-J (∆) was finally hitting up Toronto at The Wrongbar. Their opener JBM was a great choice for them, because although not as well known, they did have a similar, smooth, easy-going vibe. When I heard that this show was going to be at The Wrongbar, I knew I couldn’t miss it, because once these guys get bigger, they’ll probably never perform at such a small, intimate venues again. This is why, if you have a chance to see them before the end of this tour, you should! Although the first intro song of their set was brutally ruined due to audio feedback, it was fixed before their next song, and a favourite of many, “Tesselate”. As one of their more well known songs, this was able to get people swaying and into that perfect surreal melodic mood (just look at their faces in the picture below).
Since the genre of music that they play is so alternative and undefined, it’s really hard to explain the feeling you get from just being there. There was no light show or video screen in the background, but it was still perfection because Alt-J’s pure musical genius and raw talent filled the air and had the ability to keep everyone awestruck from start to finish. Few people could even pull their phones out of their pocket because they were so drawn into the music. Anyways, on with the show- Alt-J’s front man, Joe, was so kind and incredibly sweet. During “Breezeblocks” when the crowd burst out into singing along, Joe even giggled because he was so humbled and taken aback by the crowd’s enthusiasm. After the song finished he was quick to say “You guys are amazing! And one of the first crowds to actually sing-a-long in key!” Everyone laughed and cheered even louder.
Earlier on in the show someone had requested their song “Matilda” and just before it started, Joe pointed at that person in reassurance of fulfilling their wish. It was really nice to see a band with that sort of humbleness interact with the crowd, (especially for people like me who absolutely love them). They played a lot more wonderful songs like “Bloodflood” “Something Good” and “Dissolve Me” but the closer to end it got, you couldn’t help but get sad. Little did we know, after their last song and another favourite, “Taro”, that they would be coming down by the bar and actually hanging out with people.
(Joe Newman from Alt-J)
Of course I stuck around to meet them and being the BestFan that I am, I needed to get their autographs and at least say “hi”! I did more than just say “hi” because I was able to actually chat with these guys about their tour, this being their first time in Canada and obviously poutine- (all of which they were thoroughly enjoying, especially the poutine)! By the end of the night, I was on cloud 9 and a half, and nothing could ruin my mood leaving that show.
As I said, if you get the chance to see them, do it! If not, I definitely recommend checking out their album and my last post [here]. Also check out the rest of the gallery below!