Indie-rockers Alt-J took to the 9:30 Club stage for two sold out performances last week, giving fans a sight and sound they’d never seen the likes of.
Hailing from England, the four musicians stopped in the District for the U.S. leg of their fall tour. These Brits exploded onto the indie music scene last September with their debut album “An Awesome Wave” and still enjoying its massive popularity.
Alt-J, also known as ∆ (the symbol for the command sequence Alt J on a Mac computer) added a second 9:30 show on Sept. 19 after the original date of Sept. 18 sold out almost immediately after going on sale.
Alt-J didn’t just perform their songs for the eager crowd on Sept. 18; they created a phenomenal live music experience that fans will surely never forget. From the minute they took the stage, these rockers absolutely captivated every person in the jam-packed house.
Staying true to the name of their album, the band’s unique vibe paired with the incredible light show sent the audience through juxtaposing waves of chill jams and irresistibly catchy dance tunes. The crowd, mostly comprised of trendy-looking twenty-somethings, responded to album favorites enthusiastically by holding their arms high above the crowd, their thumbs and index fingers forming the signature Alt-J triangle.
Alt-J opened the show with the eerie “Intro” track off of their debut album. The slow jam, with its killer drumbeat and gravelly vocals, appropriately worked as a stellar introduction to the band’s alluring stage presence. The intro transitioned directly into the grunge-rock “Fitzpleasure,” followed by “Bloodflood,” a beautiful song so haunting that you just can’t shake off.
The continually transitioning musical ambiance seemed to be the theme of the show. The audience stayed in sync with the band for the show’s duration, vibing to the sexy, slow drums of indie gem “Tessellate,” followed by the crazy antics of the band’s summer hit “Breezeblocks.” Other notable moments include lead singer Joe Newman stepping back from the mic to let the crowd passionately sing the chorus of “Matilda” and the breathtaking performance of the exotic-sounding “Taro.”
Alt-J had a rather short set, playing for only an hour if not less since the band only had material from their debut album. The band made the relatively short performance worth every second for their fans, jam-packing the hour with fourteen tracks, each as hypnotizing as the next.