alt-J Live at The O2 Arena Review

Written By: Sam Wilson

Twitter: @SamNHWilson

In their first proper tour since the release of This is All Yours (Alt-J’s second studio album), the boys, who met at Leeds University, are back to tour their newest album: Relaxer. Although Relaxer only featured eight songs, which was slightly disappointing for a massive fan like myself, it was certainly a great album and when they announced a one-off date in London, just before their world tour of Relaxer, I had to get tickets.

The show started with support act Blaenavon, an ‘indie-pop’ trio who I’d heard of before but wasn’t familiar with most of their music. They were impressive and constantly reminded the audience of how “f***ing awesome” Alt-J were. The band played a handful of songs before making way for the headliners to take the stage.

The atmosphere inside the arena was amazing as the boys came out on stage with the standing area going absolutely crazy as the three performers took their places. The lights were set up with digital displays and a giant triangle (rumor has it triangles are their favorite shape) light fixture above the band. They kicked off with 3WW, a song from their most recent album but actually only featured five out of the eight songs on Relaxer throughout the show.

A majority of the concert’s songs came from the band’s first album An Awesome Wave, with hits such as Fitzpleasure, Breezeblocks and Taro receiving insane levels of crowd cheers. One of the best songs in the concert was the band’s performance of The Gospel of John Hurt, with hazy green lighting as an homage to the Alien franchise and the late, legendary actor John Hurt. The crowd sang along with an incredible volume and the sci-fi vibes of the song echoed throughout the 20,000 capacity arena in London, accompanied by piercing green lights.

It was a hot day in London, with the temperature reaching 30 degrees (believe me, that’s hot for England) it was incredibly hot and sweaty within the crowd itself, yet nobody seemed to care. Everyone was here to listen to the music and this is exactly what they did. The audience was relatively young but not too young that it was packed full of kids: with most people looking to be around 16-25 years old and no older. This created an incredible atmosphere for a generation of young British people who feel more unified than ever before.

This was my first time seeing Alt-J, who are one of my favorite bands of all time, live and after leaving the arena I had already decided that I wanted to go and see them again when they tour the seaside towns of the UK later on this year. They put on one hell of a show and I would recommend it to anyone, even if you are not the biggest fan of their music.