alt-J at The Fox Theater

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alt-J ‘s debut album, An Awesome Wave, was released ten years ago and what better way to celebrate by the band touring the album in a select run of cities. At the time of release, the album received mixed reviews with The Guardian declaring it one of the top 10 albums of the year, but Pitchfork retorting that,

if this is what’s getting tagged as an “innovative” success these days, then heaven help the weirdos.” 

With support from girli, alt-J made a stop in Oakland to play two sold out nights at the Fox Theater. The band took the stage, dimly lit with moody blue light featuring only the silhouettes of the band members. Keyboardist, Gus Unger-Hamilton, began the repeating two note intro to “Intro,” followed by guitarist & frontman Joe Newman’s guitar riff, and then Thom Sonny’s kick drum. An Awesome Wave was played front to back that featured hits like “Breezeblocks,” “Tessellate,” “Matilda,” and “Taro.” It was like a live album listening party, an experience that doesn’t come around too often nowadays with setlists. For the next hour and a half, the band created an immersive experience with vibrant light production that synced with every bass and drum line. 

The set finished off with other popular songs from alt-J’s discography like “U&ME”, “Deadcrush,” “Every Other Freckle,” and “In Cold Blood.” The trio thanked the crowd before stepping off quickly before their two song encore, featuring “Hard Drive Gold” and “Left Hand Free.” After 10 years, this album still holds up and is a refreshing take on indie music. 

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