Apr 22, 2010


The new video from The XX. This is my favorite song by them. I think I could listen to their album all day.

Apr 9, 2010

The XX Concert

The xx - Oliver Sim (vocals/guitar), Romy Madley Croft (vocals/guitar) and Jamie Smith (beats/producer).
Phoenix Concert Theater, April 4, 2010.
Opening Acts: Nosaj Things and JJ.

The first song that got me hooked to The xx last year was "Basic Space". Their minimalistic style paired with male & female vocal interplay causes their music to exude such sensuality. I absolutely adore The xx, especially Oliver Sim.

I got there half an hour early and felt like a total misfit. Here I was this tiny Asian girl amongst these slew of hipsters. I was able to squeeze my way into the second row. I had to make sure I was at the front or I'd be spending my whole night staring at people's heads.

First Opening Act - Nosaj Thing

After 30 minutes of waiting, an Asian guy came out without saying a word and started setting up his laptop. I didn't know Nosaj Thing was performing or any of his music prior to this concert. I initially thought he was one the sound check guys until he began to play music. He was slightly hunched over his equipment while twisting knobs, pressing buttons, and gliding his fingers across his Akai MPD32 controller.

Second Opening Act - JJ

I only knew and somewhat liked 2-3 songs (Let Go, My Way, and Ecstasy) prior to seeing this Swedish band live. It started out with the female vocalist coming out with an acoustic guitar and playing her songs on a stool. The music was accompanied with images flashed onto this white canvas behind them. The projection consisted of images of herself and her band mate, nature, and other languid images. During the first song, the guitarist was clearly high. I think he had a record high of strumming two consecutive chords. He spent the rest of the time looking confused, walking around aimlessly and giving death stares to the audience. He looked apeshit crazy. At one point, he was standing 2 inches from the edge of the stage and stared angrily into the audience. I was so sure he was either going to 1) jump down beat the crap out of these two obnoxious guys behind me heckling him 2) try to crowd surf. Luckily, he didn't do either and eventually left the stage. Of course he left only after playing the air guitar and forming a heart on his chest with his hands. Aww I guess he redeemed himself there, NOT!

I couldn't appreciate JJ's music because I was too distracted by how high out of his mind he was. That and those obnoxious guys behind me that talked loudly non-stop throughout the whole night. They kept yelling insults and dumb comments . Everyone around them was annoyed. Seriously, STFU!!!

The xx

Around 10:50, a big "X" was projected onto the white cloth that encompassed the whole stage. Moments later, alternating lights from behind the curtains shone behind each band mate. It created an outline of their silhouettes while they played "Intro". When the curtains dropped, I knew it was going to be a good night.

They played all of the songs on their album, plus a cover of Do You Mind by Kyla. The songs were more or less their album versions, but with slight variations that made it even more amazing. They weren't overly interactive with the crowd, but they're known to be shy and their music makes up for it.

When listening to their music live, the space or pacing they often incorporate into their music was more pronounced. It helps create this build up, as if it was done purposely to create this feeling of anticipation. There's something in the way the pauses and intermittent quietness makes their music so sultry. Forget the notion that having 5 octaves or guitar virtuosity is an indicator of what great music consists of. This works. What makes them so good (for me) is the simplicity of it all. Well, that and the way the synth beats, bass grooves and hushed vocals all coalesce together so well.

Romy and Oliver are basically the doppelgangers of Kelly Osbourne and Eminem. To be fair, they're the younger and way more attractive versions. By the end of the night I was completely enamored to Oliver Sims. I can't quite pinpoint what it is. Is it the intense yet passionate stalker stares he gives Romy (possibly bedroom eyes jk)? Or maybe there's magic in those skin tight jeans? Well whatever it is, I think his appeal mainly stems from the way he lightly swings his guitar back. Also, the way he synced his head and neck movements to the music was endearing...in an odd way.

They ended the night with Oliver
fervently pounding at the cymbals at the end of Infinity. They later came back for an encore performance of Stars. The lights were dimmed low while tiny lights outlining "x" illuminated the backdrop. The concert was incredible. I would definitely go again if they came back to Toronto.