Alt-J at The Crocodile, All Photos by Amber Zbitnoff

Selling out the Crocodile months in advance is a sure sign of a band on the rise. Alt-J, recent winner of the prestigious Mercury Award, played the packed room on Monday night to a room of sweating, dancing, singing Seattleites. We were all mesmerized by the British gentlemen from the moment they finally took the stage. For a Monday night show with late set times, no one dared leave until the set was over as the band spanned a good deal of their debut album, An Awesome Wave.

Gwil Sainsbury (guitarist/bassist), Joe Newman (guitar/vocals), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums) made sure that their set included some of the most memorable including ‘Interlude I, ‘Tessellate,’ ‘Something Good,’ and ‘Matilda.’ On record, harmonies between Unger-Hamilton on keys and Newman are intense, but live they’re a completely different, more powerful animal. Music fanatics often compare live shows to going to church, but at moments during ‘Interlude I’ and ‘Dissolve Me’ it felt as though the Crocodile was transformed into a cathedral.

Newman is a subtle frontman and didn’t partake in much banter with the crowd, opting to let his rolling hips and other-wordly vocals say everything the crowd needed to hear. He and the band sounded exactly how you’d expect a recent Mercury Award winner to sound – perfect.

It may be a weird name, but Alt J is a name you need to familiarize yourself with this very second if you haven’t heard them yet. If any band is set to be the biggest new act in 2013, it is this group of British gentlemen who recently won the Mercury award. If you weren’t able to get tickets to this show, make sure you snag some for their next surely soon-to-be sold out show in April here.

Wildcat! Wildcat! at The Crocodile, All Photos by Amber Zbitnoff

Opener was LA band Wildcat! Wildcat! [sic], who I certainly hope ended up getting almost as much good press as Alt-J on this leg of the tour. The band’s sound stays current with what’s happening in indie-pop music currently, giving off a sort of 80s prom vibe in a very good way. As one member of the crowd around me said while dancing to the song ‘Mr Quiche,’ “These guys are pure daytime disco.” I couldn’t think of a better way to sum up this band, and I can’t wait to see them play Seattle again.

Culture Review: Alt-J with Guest Wildcat! WildCat! @ The Crocodile 12/17