Alt-J Go From Sold Out Shows to A Private Show For Radio Winners

October 22, 2014
KROQ Red Bull Soundspace- Los Angeles, CA

        Alt-J, the quirky, awkward indie rock band from Leeds, England cultured it’s unique sound out of a dorm room in Leeds University, recording on GarageBand and molding it’s vibe to the constraints of walls and hallways.

“The fact that we started playing in our dorm room, we had to be quiet we couldn’t use heavy drums and bass, so that definitely changed our music,” says drummer Thom Green when asked about the effect their beginning had on their sound during the pre-show Q&A held by KROQ radio host Nicole Alvarez.

Alt-J-5These effects were clearly evident in their intimate live performance at the KROQ Redbull Soundspace on Oct 22, 2014. Their comfort zone is in the studio, and it seems as though they tend to stray from amps and microphones. “We put a lot of time into perfecting these songs for the live shows, in order to keep them similar to the studio tracks,” says lead singer and guitarist Joe Newman.

Alt-J isn’t a band drawn toward outlandish volumes and bold “in your face” attitudes. There is, however, a subtlety in their music that resonates deep and hits hard, while still carrying a groovy electro-funk aesthetic.

Their latest hit, Left Hand Free off their newly dropped album This Is All Yours (which went straight to number 1 in the UK) moved the 200-some crowd to groovy head-bops and feel-good smiles and sways.

They played a couple off their debut album as well, Breezeblocks and Fitzpleasure which sent waves of  “Fitzpleasure” through the crowd, resulting in a simultaneous break -down of funky, euphoric groove.

Some might say the band didn’t do much on stage, referring to their keyboards and synth pads and loop stations, but those all contribute to the band’s simplistic yet impactful style. Less is more when it comes to smooth sub-woofing, treble finger-picking, and hard hitting snare-drumming wrapped in a soulful, electro-groovy aura.

Review by: Jasmin Toubi