The Current

Great Music Lives Here ®
Listener-Supported Music
Donate Now

Alt-J, Live In Concert: SXSW 2013

  Play Now [49:51]

by Stephen Thompson

March 14, 2013

NPR Music

Alt-J's Joe Newman has a funny way of singing — especially for the uninitiated, it can seem cartoonish or, worse, affected. He bends his high, twisty voice in strange ways, wrapping it around inventive arrangements that burble and boom and otherwise ramp up a sense of unease. The easiest way to embrace alt-J's idiosyncratic charm is to witness the band live; to hear how often Newman sings quietly and subtly, and to get a fuller feel for the prettiness at the core of alt-J's songs.

On Wednesday night at Stubb's, the band dug deep into its one and only album, last year's Mercury Prize-winning An Awesome Wave, and found a sweet spot where odd adventurousness meets beauty that seeps under the skin.

Set List

  • "Intro"

  • "Interlude I"

  • "Tessellate"

  • "Something Good"

  • "Buffalo"

  • "Dissolve Me"

  • "Fitzpleasure"

  • "Matilda"

  • "Interlude II"

  • "Bloodflood"

  • "Ms"

  • "Breezeblocks"

  • "Hand-Made"

  • "Taro"


Producers: Bob Boilen, Mito Habe-Evans, Robin Hilton, Amy Schriefer; Technical Director: Kevin Wait; Event Coordinator: Saidah Blount; Assistant Producer: Denise DeBelius; Videographers: Christopher Farber, Katie Hayes Luke, A.J. Wilhelm; Audio Engineering by Metro Mobile; Production Assistants: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Ryan Smith; Special Thanks to: Stubb's and South By Southwest; Executive Producers: Anya Grundmann, Keith Jenkins.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit