The XX deserve a XOX
I stumbled upon The XX on youtube and fell in love with one of their most popular singles, Crystalised right away. With insightful lyrics that reveal “I’ve done things in small doses, so don’t think that I’m pushing you away, when you’re the one that I’ve kept closest” I found the songs easily relatable and thought provoking. The sound was an odd mixture of trip-hop, ambient trance mixed with synthesizers and haunting vocals. Their songs seemed so effortless and minimal but capable of hitting an audience with a massive impact.
I was lucky enough to see them perform at Massey Hall where they performed a mesmerizing and hypnotic show. Massey Hall has become one of my favourite venure for concerts beacause of the intimate setting and sound quality it provides. Once they began playing I could not take my eyes off of them for fear of missing a single movement.
Oliver Sim, lead vocalist and bass player danced about sporadically, thrusting his body about to the beat while Romy Madley Croft, the other lead vocalist and gutarist remained stationary most of the show, gravitating at heightened instrumental solos towards Oliver to meet mid-stage and groove together. Oliver took charge of interacting with the crowd, thanking Toronto for all the support and announcing that they might not be back touring for awhile due to some much needed rest after a long North American tour.
The show began with the intro heard on the album, but it seemed drawn out in order to increase the anticipation that was already palpable throughout the audience. The crowd consisted of older couples who were young at heart, who actually got up out of their seats and danced in the aisles. There were also drunken, belligerent college girls screaming “I love you” throughout the entirety of the show and trendy hipsters ranging from 20 – late 30s. I was thankful for the ushers who told the girls to quiet down since it wasn’t really that kind of concert. Instead of moshing, The XX provided an intense light show that pulsated in time to the music and rhythm which led to some people with glasses seeking coverage for their eyes and which caused me to pop out my contacts, as to enjoy the show more.
Needless to say it was intense yet immensely enjoyable. It is rare to see a band with such a simple, minimalistic sound that delivers such a massive attack on the auditory senses.