Concert preview: Alt-J at CD102.5 Day First Dose

From the March 28, 2013 edition

CD102.5 Day, a two-part spring awakening at LC Pavilion curated by “The Alternative Station,” is back. Sold-out shows this Saturday and next are stacked with big-name UK headliners and burgeoning talent from the alternative radio farm system.

Alt-J, whose music is as convoluted as its name, headlines Saturday. See, typing that key combination on a Mac produces a delta symbol — which, for us non-greeks, is this: ∆. Supposedly the band likes it because it signifies change. Not as contrived as Up Up Down Down Left Right Left Right BA Start, but also not as fun.

As for debut An Awesome Wave, which won the Mercury Prize for Britain’s best album last year, it skitters between endearing and annoying, and it’s nothing if not distinct. Nobody else combines emotive post-rock, prog theatrics, Yeasayer-style mysticism, a pinch of Radiohead and a Devendra Banhart/Dave Matthews-y singer who must certainly have a clothespin on his nose.

Also playing: Little Green Cars, Family of the Year, The Virginmarys and The Weight of Whales.