Review: Alex G live at Stylus
Prem Dosanjh shares his thoughts on the Leeds leg of Alex G’s tour
In his 2016 Vice documentary Alex G (real name Alexander Giannascoli) expressed how it was an unreal thought “to have people [he] didn’t know like [his] music”. It is safe to say that this thought has more than come to fruition with his line of sold out shows across his European tour.
Following the release of his ninth full-length album, Alex took to the stage of Leeds University Union’s stylus as part of his current tour. Playing a hefty five dates in the UK, Alex’s whistle stop tour of the UK began in Manchester and ended in London. His stop in Leeds marks his second UK date after which he has gone on to play Nottingham, Bristol and London in quick succession, before moving onto the rest of his European dates.
Playing a sold out show, his crowd consisted mainly of young faces, with the occasional accompanying parent. The night also marks the first time in my nineteen years of life that I have ever felt old at a concert. The concert venue space of the Leeds University’s Stylus and its multiple tiers creates the possibility for a very varied concert experience. The three tiered space allows for an audience to choose their desired proximity of watching comfortably from afar against the railings on raised platforms or standing below in the packed space right before the stage.
His performance was preceded by the support of Indie-Rock band Momma, who are supporting Alex throughout the tour. Momma’s alt-rock style provided a well-received warm up for Alex. Fitting well with the Indie-Rock element of Alex’s discography, they played a heavy riffed set to an enthusiastic crowd.
After this, Alex took to the stage with a calm and collected presence. Wasting no time Alex got straight into his extensive set, with the encore alone consisting of four songs. Alex played a mixture of tracks from throughout his large discography. However, the setlist had a clear focus on his most recent ninth album: God Save The Animals. A personal highlight for me was his performance of Runner, from this most recent album, which was released as a single prior to the album’s release.
His understated performance style allows for a focus on the storytelling of his song lyrics. The crowd here is tranquil, focused intensely on Alex and singing along in harmony. During the set he often appears lost in the music and in tune with his band, turning to face them for extended periods as he plays. Often many American artists are perplexed by a crowing chanting ‘Yorkshire’ or express their lack of knowledge on Leeds as an area. However, with minimal audience interaction, Alex lets his music speak for itself. After all, that is what the crowd are there for.
Words by Prem Dosanjh
Image Credit: Anna Whitaker