Paul Wellman

On Monday, fans turned out in droves to hear English alt-rock, folk-electronica trio alt-J perform a stellar set as part of its Relaxer tour. The unseasonably cold night got off to a fantastic start with opener Børns, who wooed the crowd with his blend of psychedelic-tinged electropop paired with dynamic vocals and catchy lyrics. Opening with “God Save Our Young Blood,” from his 2018 sophomore record Blue Madonna, Børns squeezed 13 songs into his limited stage time. Unfortunately, the first half of the set suffered from poor sound mixing, with bass and drums overwhelming the singer’s oft-delicate voice and drowning out any musical nuances. When the mix was righted, however, Børns’s aurally dynamic creations were on full display, making clear why he is an artist to keep an eye on.

Paul Wellman

Alt-J then took the stage and proceeded to enrapture the audience with tight instrumentation, electric harmonies, and a fantastic light show. I’ve never seen the band disappoint live, and so it was again at the Bowl. The set list pulled from all three albums and included favorites “Matilda,” “Something Good,” and “Tessellate” from An Awesome Wave and “Left Hand Free” and “Hunger of the Pine” from This Is All Yours. Newer tunes from Relaxer also translated well to the live format, particularly “In Cold Blood” and “Pleader.” In addition to the group’s excellent musicianship, its phenomenal light show, which pulsed, rose, and fell to the rhythm and mood of each song, made for an epic evening.


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