words/photos Jennie Book

It’s the ten year anniversary of UK band Alt-J’s seminal debut album An Awesome Wave, and they came to the Fox Theater in Oakland for two nights to share it live with a fevered group of fans.

The light show at the fore and aft of the trio of singer/guitarist Joe Newman, keyboardist/vocalist Gus Unger-Hamilton, and drummer Thom Sonny Green was dramatic and flashy, and highlighted the grandness of big songs like “Tessellate,” “Fitzpleasure,” and “Breezeblocks.” Performing side by side in a line across the wide stage, spotlights lit them up as they lit up ears and played the entirety of An Awesome Wave to a packed house of lyric-screaming fans.

The band played lots of back catalog favorites during their 22-song set, including “Deadcrush,” “Left Hand Free,” “Chicago,” and “Every Other Freckle,” for a several hour setlist. Their fourth studio album The Dream was released in 2022 with many tracks that were well-represented live.

March 24th in Oakland marked the last US stop on the 10th Anniversary Tour, but more dates begin in Australia in April and continue into Europe through the end of summer.