I’ve been waiting for this day to come since tickets went on sale in April. Thanks to my BFF Michelle, who introduced me to this band in her mixtape she created for our trip to Coachella, I have seen them live 3 times, included black as a staple color in my everyday wardrobe, fallen in love with the bassist, and started following them on twitter.
So let’s rewind to this past weekend and talk about the Henry Fonda show first. I arrived around 930PM, since The xx wasn’t set to perform till 11PM. Had an obligatory beer of course, and then proceeded to the pit just to catch the end of the first opener DJ Nosaj. The second opener was Phantogram, and I understood why they opened for The xx as they share the same black wardrobe, and dark atmosphere, and good beats, but I couldn’t help but eagerly wait for The xx to perform.
(Michelle cutting in: Phantogram are a very attractive New York duo that blend trip-hop, indie pop, and electronica, using only a keyboard and guitar. They have opened for the likes of Zero 7, Minus the Bear, Ra Ra Riot, Yeasayer, and Brazilian Girls, and personally I hope to catch one of their shows and write this un-memorable performance off to nerves)
Let me remind you this is their first ever headlining gig in LA (no pressure guys). The xx opens their set behind a white veil, revealing beautiful silhouettes of Romy, Oliver, and Jamie. They start the show with “Intro” where they perfectly matched up the beats with the flashing white lights. The rush of white light and the flickering lightboxes made me feel as though I was flooded in a cloud of complete blindness. As “Intro” ends, the curtain drops and they appear like heavenly creatures, all wearing black of course. “Intro” fades into “Crystalised” and then they play the remainder of the album including “Do You Mind” (Kyla cover), which they transformed into one of the sexiest songs ever. During their set, I would catch a glimpse of Oliver drinking his beer in between songs, which made me think, somebody must have bought you that drink seeing that you aren’t 21 yet, and I wish that person was me. HA. Then Oliver does his solo in “Fantasy” and approaches the edge of the stage and sings rightfully into the mic in his sexy deep voice (unf). Then before the encore, Oliver goes crazy on the cymbal (I was waiting for his time to come) and they leave the stage to later come back with an encore, where they finish with “Stars”. As they leave the stage for the second time, “You’ve Got the Love” a Florence & the Machine remix starts playing. The lights are still turned off and the lightboxes are still gleaming, people wait for their return to the stage, to later find out that they teased us! The lights turn on and the curtains come down and that was it. I was surprised they left us hanging like that, but I figured since they played their entire and only album.
more video, songs, and Wiltern review after the cut –>
The next day I was having post xx depression and I decided to go to the Wiltern show. It was completely last minute so I said why the fuck not? I got a ticket and drove my ass to the Wiltern, thinking I would be there pretty early, just to find a huge line wrapped around the venue waiting for doors to open. I was so shocked because the previous night I just walked right in without waiting in line, LIKE A BOSS. NBD. Well I was wrong this time, I go in and don’t have time to buy my obligatory beer (tear) seeing that the venue was packed, so I walk straight to the floor to find a good place. As I was looking for a place to stand, I made a friend who was alone, just like me, and had been to the show at the Fonda the previous night. We chatted, bonded about our xx obsession, and became buddies for the remainder of the show.
The same openers performed and I felt like the second time around, I didn’t wait as long for The xx to perform since they went on at 1030PM. They had the same set up as the previous night including the light shows. The lights were a perfect touch to their performance, lighting up the entire crowd with sudden bursts of white, red, and blue lights. It was so minimal, yet so powerful. The subtlety of the lights, Romy’s gentle whispers, Oliver’s deep voice, and Jamie’s dreamy beats made the show. The set list was pretty much the same as the Fonda’s except they played “Hot Like Fire” an Aaliyah cover, which they’ve never played live before. While their set was just a little over an hour long, I was perfectly content.
Overall the crowd at the Wiltern was more upbeat and I felt The xx were more confident in their performance. During the Wiltern show, I noticed the audience would sing along to the songs and cheered loudly before every song, something that lacked at the Fonda. Maybe the size of the venue was a factor since more people attended this show including Matthew Gray Gubler, some guy from The Killers, and Lindsay Lohan (avoiding the cops by being with the xx lulz).
Hands down my favorite band right now. I haven’t been this obsessed since I was 14 when The Strokes “Is This It” came out and knowing me, that was a big deal. So props to these 20 year olds and their growing popularity! They’re kinda a big deal after selling out back to back shows in LA and SF, so no pressure in making the second album as good as the first.
If you missed them in LA this time, they are coming back to the Palladium on Sept 22. Tix are on sale tomorrow! So get them before they sell out.