Röck Döts

Alt-J and Wolf Alice

Location: Palladium, Cologne
Date: 02/08/2015

Alt-J and Wolf Alice The concert of ALT-J is more like a experiment for me. I don't know too much of the British band that blends indie, pop, electro and even some influence of progressive music. But I am very surprised that the four-some got that big during the last two years. Within a few weeks the group sold out the 4000 tickets for their show in Cologne's Palladium. Despite having no real single-hits like other (short-lived) indie-hypes, that's kind of astonishing.

I miss the first band's set and I don't even know their name. It is even hard to google it. Therefore, the first band I get to see is British alternative rockers WOLF ALICE. Well, their show is totally not excitable - either song- or performance-wise. Nothing is happening. Despite that the music and musicians are boring. This might be part of the 90's flair they want to create by ripping-off bands like alt rock heroes JANE'S ADDICTION or shoegaze-pioneers MY BLOODY VALENTINE. The four-some is a perfect example of the 90's revival, they even recreate the hollowness of generation X by doing absolutely nothing.

I am surprised that the performance of ALT-J is far better. Even though the four British musicians do not move at all, it is very enjoyable. This might be caused by their perfect light show. The band is accompanied by many LED-lights above the stage and light pillars behind them. Each song the lights paint the stage in a different colour/colour shades. It is even possible for them to do crazy effects like flashlights, waves of light or beautiful colour gradients. Because of this it does not really matter that ALT-J moves as much as WOLF ALICE. The focus of their show is definitely on their music and their lightshow.

It seems like every song of the band is a big hit. The audience is euphoric in-between the tracks and celebrates every new tune like it is the band's biggest hit. Actually, this might be a good thing, because it shows that ALT-J is a vital group, that might outlive the hype and mend into a real carrier. The setlist is a mix of the two records the Brits released, "An Awesome Wave" (2012) and last year's "This Is All Yours". Both LPs did not provided any big hit single, but the album sales were constant and eventually the debut was certified platinum in the UK.

For nearly 70 minutes ALT-J deliver an artful show, that surprises me - in a positive way. The set that contained fifteen songs was good and the encore (consisting of four additional songs) was a great way to finish the show. Hands down: I did not recognise any song except of 'Dissolve Me', but it was a fun show and I am going to give this band another shot by listening closely to their two records.