Thursday, December 04, 2014

Alt-J @ The Pageant (12/3/2014)



Opener:
  • Claire and I arrived a little later than desired (@ 9 PM), but still saw pretty much all of Vance Joy, who she wanted to see.  He didn't really do much for me, but I'm happy if she's happy.  Meg Myers was long gone by the time we arrived, so I can't comment on her.
Setlist:
  • Considering that they only have two full-lengths out, it wasn't too surprising that they played lots of songs from both albums.  If there was any sort of segregation, it seemed that the first half had more older songs while the second had more from the new album.  But they ended with "Breezeblocks" (from the first album), so it's tough to say that there was really a split.
Stage:
  • The drummer was right up front on the right side of the stage, as opposed to the typical positioning in the back center.  I liked this set-up, as it put all four members up front.
  • The light show was pretty solid - looked like quite a few LED racks.  Not overwhelming, but a good match for their style.  It seemed that the band was mysteriously shadowed for a lot of the show - Claire commented during the last song that you could finally see them.
Observations:
  • Interestingly, the keyboard player did all the banter, as opposed to the lead singer.  But he also held his own quite well on back-up vocals.
  • No extended jams - I appreciate when a band doesn't noodle around.
    High/low-lights:
    • Although they led off with my favorite song on the new album, "Hunger of the Pine", the sound mix sounded pretty terrible for that song.  Thankfully, that improved quickly.
    • There are several aspects that makes this band's sound unique (including the singing style), but one that worked really well for me live was the drumming.  The drummer's kit has a few non-standard items that really came through well, especially once the sound mix was fixed.  It also seemed like there was a bit more added drumming on the live renditions (especially on a couple of the quieter songs), but that could just be the live mixing emphasizing the drums more than the studio mixes.
    Rating: 4.5/5

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