Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Alt-J w/ Hundred Waters @ Belly Up- 04.16.13
Greater San Diego was treated to a streak of exceptional shows last week as some of the best bands out there found themselves looking to fill their time with a few shows between consecutive weekends at Coachella. Tuesday was no exception as recent Mercury Prize winners Alt-J made their way from the desert to Solana Beach for their second SD show in four months. Gainesville, FL five piece Hundred Waters started the night for a sold out crowd at the Belly Up. More words and photos after the jump.
Taking the fog-shrouded stage to a comfortably crowded turnout (for an opener), Hundred Waters kicked straight off into a set of tracks from last year's self titled debut album. Their electro-tinged synth pop is eminently listenable as lead singer Nicole Miglis' voice- falling comfortably somewhere in the Natasha Khan/ Bjork range- blends seamlessly with her keyboard/ bass/ guitar/ synth/ drum accompaniment. Look for these guys to come back through town again soon and as the headliner.
When Alt-J last played San Diego it was at the Casbah on the tail end of their first ever US tour. It was clear that they hadn't yet fine tuned their live performance, but you could see the potential once they had the chance to get their stage presence together. Four months apparently make a hell of a difference. One of the first sets I caught at week one of Coachella was them, Friday afternoon in the Mojave tent. The first thing that surprised me was the size of the crowd- I arrived just as the previous band was walking off stage and, without side stepping forward for a better spot, found myself about even with the soundboard- a good 200' from the stage. The crowd was great- lots of movement and a surprisingly large number of people singing along word for word- and the show was even better. It was evident that the time spent since their last trip to Southern California had noticeably tightened up their set both technically and performance-wise. Understanding that an open air tent in the waning desert heat is incomparable to the vaulted ceilings of the Belly Up, expectations were high as the quartet from Leeds took to an impressively spartan stage. The show that followed was distinctly more downtempo than their set the previous weekend, but it couldn't have fit the space better. Even though the mood was noticeably on the 'chill' end of the meter, it wouldn't be a Belly Up show without some ruckus and a sweet young lady a few feet away was more than happy to comply, loudly threatening a 'bitch' that she would 'slash your fucking throat'. Just as the band who a whole lot of people had come to see and hear was transitioning between songs. Classic. Despite any distractions, it was a killer show. They may have outgrown the local venues at this point, but if you want to see them at the end of their current American tour, head up to the Hollywood Palladium on August 27.
For other photos from the show click here. More concert photography here.
All photos licensed by Nate Vandermeulen under Creaive Commons- BY-NC
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Posted by Nate Vandermeulen at Tuesday, April 23, 2013