In a summer concert season dominated by nostalgia (Ringo Starr, Ozzy Osbourne) and modern dance DJs (Marshmello, Hardwell, Black Coffee, Martin Garrix) that 2000s commodity known as the currently active rock band is rare to find on Israel’s shores.
Fortunately, one of the most acclaimed of the endangered species – Britain’s Alt-J – is making its second appearance here in three years. Still on the rise in 2015, the band was originally booked in the cozy Ra’anana Amphitheater but ended up appearing for two sold-out shows at the more expansive Rishon Lezion Live Park, as Israeli fans had already picked up on the buzz the band was creating worldwide. Jerusalem Post reviewers Ori J. Lenkinski and Maya Pelleg deemed the show “the perfect late summer engagement: crowded, hot, dancy and dynamic.”
This year, with their third album Relaxer receiving accolades, singer and guitarist Joe Newman, keyboardist and singer Gus Unger-Hamilton and drummer Thom Green are bringing their layered, sometimes soaring experimental pop that has been compared to a more radiofriendly Radiohead for a show on May 29 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center.
Since their 2012 debut album An Awesome Wave walked away with numerous British awards, the band has reached the top of the rock heap, selling out both the 02 Arena and Madison Square Garden. But there’s a good chance that many fans wouldn’t recognize the members if they bumped into them in the street.
“I suppose we’re in a famous band, but we’re not famous people. That’s kind of perfect really,” UngerHamilton recently told an interviewer. “We live completely normal lives when we’re not on the road.”
Opening the show will be Los Angeles-based atmospheric indie rockers Warpaint, consisting entirely of women musicians. They opened up Depeche Mode’s US tour last year.
Together, Alt-J and Warpaint offer an answer to anyone asking “Where have all the rock bands gone?”Alt-J will perform on May 29 at the Tel Aviv Exhibition Center.