Live Review: Alt-J - The London O2, London 16/06/2017
Warming up for their headline Glastonbury Set, Alt-J took to the O2 stage as part of the 10 Years of The O2 anniversary celebrations. It may seem an odd choice as they’re not your usual pop production but the venue was nearly full to the brim of fans waiting for Alt-J to take to the stage with their unique style of modern music.
Fresh off the bat from their recent album release, Blaenavon graced the O2 stage in support of Alt-J. Their quick transformation in popularity was obvious by their tiny banner hanging on the rafters behind their set, followed by a quick apology for it being so small as they never imagined playing venues of this impressive size. Kicking off their set full of energy with a few eager fans screaming the words back at them, I don’t think their O2 debut could’ve gone much better. Settings standards high with ‘My Bark Is Your Bite’ and ‘I Will Be The World’, Blaenavon were made for arenas.
As Alt-J prepare to headline the rather large 20,000 capacity venue the crowd are already buzzing in excitement, as the lights fall dark and the most hypnotic lighting rig kicks into action the whole venue are off their feet. Separated on their own individual platforms, you can tell this will be a gig without much movement on the stage, leaving the crowd to dance like there’s no tomorrow to compensate.
Starting off with tracks from their recent album, Relaxer, the passionate crowd are bouncing back the very few words the songs contain and dancing away at the enchanting interludes that Alt-J are so known for. ‘In Cold Blood’ is the biggest crowd pleaser from the newer release but as the trio proceed into tracks from their older releases the crowd completely raise the roof. From an incredible sing along during ‘Matilda’ to emotions running wild through their most popular ‘Breezeblocks’, leading onto an encore of ‘Left Hand Free and Fitzpleasure’. A set list full of their best songs to leave the crowd wanting more intertwined with the most aesthetically pleasing light show, Alt-J couldn’t have made their headline set any more out of this world. Stage presence is a difficult thing to achieve when you’re trapped in a square by lasers in front of 20,000 people but their powerful yet beautiful voices made for the most intimate, warming set you could ever imagine in a venue of that size.
Alt-J head back out on a UK seaside town tour in September and I cannot help but want to scream about it from the rooftops, their live performance is one of a kind, so exhilarating but so special too.
Live Review and Photography by Ami Ford