Leeds outfit Alt-J stamped their brand of atmospheric indie rock all over a sold out 3 Arena in Dublin last night with a calculated set that emphasised the music over the personalities of the band.
The crowd was put into a frenzy as soon as the Miley Cyrus sampled track ‘Hunger of the Pines‘ was blasted through the speakers. Joe, Gus, Thom and new touring bassist Cameron Knight took a back-seat to the music from the get go with an almost silhouette style of lighting. The band transitioned smoothly into ‘Fitzpleasure‘ before introducing themselves to the adoring crowd. The sound of Alt-J filled every inch of room in the 3 Arena at this point with the r’n’b style drums demanding focus over the superb vocals of Joe Newman.
A simplistic stage design seemed the perfect way to emphasise the calculated approach of the music and brilliantly replicating the atmospheric style of the studio recordings. There was no doubt over whether the crowd was fully engrossed in the set as ‘Left Hand Free‘ roared into the sold out 3 Arena with many holding their left hands high in the air letting the band know how free their hands truly were. The crowd participation continued for ‘Dissolve Me‘ where sing-a-long moments occurred between almost African beats.
‘Matilda‘ seemed to be the song the crowd was waiting for at this point as they screamed every single word back at the indie rockers. This reaction seemed to have the band in a state of genuine shock. Gus, who took on the role of MC for the night, told the arena that this was the biggest venue they have brought their industrial style of rock to and that they could not believe the size of the frenzied 3 Arena crowd.
The set continued with a mixture of the laid-back mathematical approach of ‘This Is All Yours‘ and the more varied 2012 release ‘An Awesome Wave‘, including a treat of ‘Bloodflood‘ and ‘Bloodflood pt. II‘ played back to back.
The band left the stage after what seemed to be a short set that left the crowd begging for more. Alt-J emerged back to the adoring crowd with a cover of Bill Withers’ ‘Lovely Day‘. This was followed by ‘Nara‘ and crowd favourite ‘Breezeblocks‘. It was during the encore that pockets of the crowd broke out into some off-beat dance moves and bodies were held up on shoulders in every corner of the arena.
Alt-J seemed at home in the 3 Arena filling every inch with their mathematical approach of indie rock led by harmonies and great set design. With the new album looking likely to take the number one spot this week it seems Alt-J have proven themselves capable candidates to force themselves as a must-have in the population’s music collection.