Show Review: Alt-J At Wrongbar

By Afra Foli

Thanks to my amazing friend, Sanne, who has taken it upon herself to introduce me to “new” music, I saw Alt-J, an awesome band that played at Wrongbar on September 19th. Alt-J falls under the indie pop genre, but their sound is hard to define. Comparisons have been made to M83 and Radiohead (they consider the latter a great compliment) and their songs range from folky to electronic and back again. Hailing from Cambridge, England the four-man band is currently a favourite for the Mercury Music Prize this year.

Doors opened at 7pm and the sold out show began at 9pm. The atmosphere was good; Wrongbar is a small enough venue to see the band from almost anywhere and the size created a cozy and friendly atmosphere. The excited audience was singing and dancing throughout the entire show. The impressive support seemed to surprise the band, which was playing in Toronto for the first time. They went through their album An Awesome Wave. The sound is more polished on the album, and when performed live it seems looser and almost improvised. The first song was messed up by feedback but it was fixed right before they started with “Tesselate”, probably their most popular song. The songs followed each other seamlessly, with the crowd cheering after each one and at the beginning of the next. The crowd was a swaying, bouncing mass of energized people for about an hour until the show ended, which I found myself thinking was too soon. The band mingled with the crowd afterwards, which one doesn’t see often enough. The size of the venue, and the crowd, were both small enough for the band not to get mobbed. I suppose they felt right at home with such an excited crowd.

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