When pressing the Alt button and then the letter J on an Apple computer, you end up with a delta sign (just like this one -> ∆) . The delta symbol means change – and the band Alt-J is doing absolutely that. They are the (refreshing) change to the music scene. Their melodic transitions, ethereal music combinations and dream-like choruses brought about an eerie air to their set at 9:30 Club. Everyone was in a unified trance as the band began playing from their album, An Awesome Wave, with “Intro”, “Interlude 1″ and “Tessellate” in what seemed like one breathe. The audience were absolutely mesmerized by the talent on stage.
As their set progressed, their compilations only got more intricate with difficult chord progressions and layers upon layers of notes that surprisingly work together. Songs such as “Dissolve Me” and “Something Good” (My favorite) sound very simple, yet to the keen ear, is profoundly complex. For their last song, the band ended with their most popular “Breezeblocks” giving salute to the children’s book “Where the Wild Things Are“. Not only has the song gained popularity, but the music video has garnered controversy over the literal meaning of the breezeblock.
For their encore, only Joe Newman (vocals/guitar) and Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) came on stage to do a very stripped-down version of “Hand-Made”. And for their grand finale, Gwil Sainsbury (bassist) and Thom Green (drums) joined the duo on stage to finish off with the most breathtaking rendition of “Taro” – about photojournalist Gerda Taro and her lover (?) / colleague Robert Capa.
Listening to the live versions does not even compare from their album. It was phenomenal. Just phenomenal.