The Lexington (NME Awards Shows 2016 with Austin, Texas) – February 1st
When it’s not nestled comfortably in his cheek, Alex G’s tongue pokes out from the corner of his mouth. He’s concentrating, and with good reason. We – the overflowing crowd – hang off his every chord, but the man stood in front of us is, quite earnestly, none the wiser. Perhaps in Alex G’s mind, he and his band are back home in Philadelphia, shut behind a heavy garage door or locked away in the depths of a bedimmed basement. It’s an image not hard to conjure when watching a group of musicians so absorbed in one another’s actions, but still one that manages to seem so distant as we’re confronted with the gangly limbs of London’s in the know waving fervently above the noise.
It’s not just the crowd that can’t seem to stay still, though. Stood slightly to the side, refusing to take centre stage, Alex G is a constant source of movement. From the word go – or in this instance, opening track ‘Station’ – Alex ceases for nothing. Even during the evening’s slower proceedings, when all else is still, save the nodding of a lonely head, Alex G can be seen robotically swaying from side to side, his feet a pivot in the middle of swathes of baggy clothing. An endearing action that comes to a head during ‘In Love’, it only serves to perpetuate the sense of home that clearly dominates Alex and his band’s performance.
Much like his last visit to the city, the show consists of a relatively organized run-through – ‘Boy’, ‘Bug’ and ‘Forever’ all make appearances – that pauses little for inter-song chatter before a hand over to the ever-willing fans takes place. An onslaught of requests dealt with in an orderly fashion gives way to ‘Soaker’, ‘Mary’ and a cover of ‘What’s My Age Again?’ sandwiched neatly in the middle of Trick bonus track, ‘Adam.’ Despite Blink’s timely addition procuring perhaps the most audible sing-along of the night, little can match the climate change that comes during ‘Icehead’. During its request, Alex G made sure to tell the waiting crowd that he wanted to go out with a bang and, in holding it back for last, go out with a bang he did.
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