AltJ1

Photos By: Summer Luu

By: Amanda Martinek

All-ages shows at SOMA were always reserved in my mind as sweaty punk dens with black eye-linered teens hurling their bodies in pits, off the stage, at each other’s faces, etc. I used to sigh when I saw a band I liked booked at this venue, grimacing at the thought of getting trapped next to all these sweaty teenagers. And yes, this thought crossed my mind when I saw Alt-J was playing at SOMA. SOMA, of all places.

Luckily, Alt-J is not one of those sweaty punk den inducing bands. The quartet out of Leeds, England, was thrown crowns to wear during this show and it seemed extremely fitting, considering their music is currently dominating the radio stations and are the only indie rock band on any type of chart at all. Plus, their “folk-step” sound is pretty unique, including high falsetto vocal harmonies, folklore influenced lyrics and smart hip hop syncopations.

The show kicked off with music from a different quartet out of England called Lovelife. Not sure whether this is supposed to be a noun or verb, the band self describes their music as “electronic gospel”. I could go into a really snarky rant and let you know how close I was to chopping off my own ears, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.

The sold-out crowd packed SOMA to it’s capacity, yet everyone stayed very mellow. The stage glowed vibrantly, as Alt-J rallied the crowd with favorites off their debut record An Awesome Wave like “Fitzpleasure”, “Something Good” and “Tessellate”, while also wow-ing them with tracks off their new album This Is All Yours.

An ecstatic roar brought them back for a few encores, ending in everyone’s favorite “Breezeblocks“. The boys stood center stage, with crowns proud, and took a bow. Fitting, for rock’s new wave of royalty.