Photos by Hillery Terenzi/Lillian Hughes, Review by Molly Free
As the movie Almost Famous quotes, “If you ever get lonely, just go to the record store and visit your friends.” and that is exactly what a handful of shivering live music fans and I did last night at local record store, Criminal Records in Little Five Points. It is always a special treat when Criminal is able to open up their doors to music lovers and put on an intimate acoustic show. English indie, psychedelic, rock group Alt-J was in town last night for their sold out show, and decided to carve out an hour of their time to play for fans in exchange for shopping locally at Criminal. Done and done!
After about an hour of shivering in line (oh the things we do for good music) the doors were open and we all snaked around racks of vinyl to the small cozy stage in the back corner of the store. There was anticipation, as Alt-J’s music has a unique sound combining alt rock with electronic heavy riffs. Thus, what they would put together for an acoustic set was a bit of a mystery.
Lead singer Joe Newman and keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton did not disappoint with the 4-song set they put together for us. The set was intimate, and informal allowing you to feel as if you were listening to your closest friends play in their living room. Joe’s eccentric voice combined with Gus use of a multitude of instruments delivered a unique acoustic set. Highlights for me were “Tessellate” and “Breezeblocks” as those songs are electronic heavy and it was very cool to be given a stripped down version of an already great song. The set was short and sweet, just enough to get ticket holders to the later show even more pumped to see the band full on.
After the Criminal set, the band was ready to meet a handful of their fans that braved the cold and sign their vinyl that was four years in the making. The best things in life are worth waiting (in the cold) for.