Well, I saw one of the most hyped bands of the festival – The xx. As you may recall, I’ve written about The xx before (here and even earlier here). It really is insane how much they have blown up in the last few months. When I contacted them in April to be on NPR Music’s Second Stage, they didn’t even have any press photos handy and the only one to be found on the web was pretty terrible. Now, they no longer have that problem.
As expected, the room was packed for the show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg on Friday night, and overall, the crowd seemed pretty enthusiastic… but I’ve got to say, I think they have a long way to go with their live act. Don’t get me wrong. They were spot on. They were so spot on, in fact, that besides the intense vibrations given off from the bass, their show sounded just like their album. And, though I really enjoy their album and relish its simplicity and minimalism, it didn’t exactly make for a rousing or particularly memorable show. They did not really expand on their songs at all, and they were not very dynamic in between songs either. Though they expressed their excitement at playing in NY, they hardly talked between songs. They hardly even moved while they played, leaving the audience with little to keep their interest. The ‘drummer.’ Wasn’t even playing behind a kit. He was merely using a strange drum machine that allowed him to push various pads with his fingers to make the effects.
So I was kind of torn on this show overall. Yes, it was good, but at least right now, The xx is just one of those bands you throw on the stereo on a (sexy) rainy day or when you want to brood a little; not one of those bands known for their showmanship.