100 Shows of 2010 - #8: The xx @ 6th and I Synagogue, 3/28/10

When was the last time you saw a show before dark? I couldn't remember the last time I got my rock on before sunset, until last Sunday. With tickets to the matinee of a doubleheader, I braved Caps fans and tourists alike to partake in some foxy English dance music courtesy of The xx.

MINI RECAP: The xx = breathtaking! Overall score: B+.

Burning incense and a giant cutout letter "X" set the stage for the show. Perched in the synagogue balcony, I waited excitedly to see how The xx would do live, especially in an unusual (though awesome) venue such as the 6th & I Synagogue. The trio ambled onto the stage, Romy clutching a cup of tea. Starting with album opener "Intro," the band began to work their magic. Immediately I knew this was going to be a good set, with the beats provided by Jamie sounding straight out of the club and the bass and guitar sounding a bit slower, though fuller, than on record. I got a chill when they launched into "Crystallised," so icy cool it was. Oliver certainly has a way with his bass, not to mention that unbearably sexy voice of his. There are bedroom eyes, and there are bedroom voices, and his smoky, come-hither voice definitely qualifies.

It was soon evident what was causing Romy to suck on some tea, her voice sounded a little bit raw. She still sounded great, mind you, but it was obvious all was not right. Perhaps the pollen count here got to her poor throat. "Heart Skipped a Beat" was lit with red lights, appropriately, and was even more appealing than on the record. It didn't take me long to realize that the choice of a house of worship was a venue was a good one. There was a kind of reverential gap between the band and their disciples, looking down at the crowd was like looking into a sea of rapt believers. I also found Oliver's deliberate, purposeful movement rather hypnotic. Be it running his hands through his hair, pushing up his sleeves, one by one, or stalking around the stage, he had a commanding presence. One of the most wonderful moments of the show came during the encore, when the band played the slow-burner "Stars," lit up by a backdrop of twinkling fairy lights. It was a beautiful moment.

When it was all over (far too soon), I sat back and enjoyed the revelatory feeling that comes just after I see a special show. Vocals roughness aside, the band sounded fantastic, and the synagogue was the absolute spot-on place for them to play. If you ever find yourself in their path, make sure you go see The xx. You won't be sorry.

mp3: Heart Skipped a Beat (The xx from The xx)


  1. i didn't immediatly fall for the XX, however this video may change may change my mind.


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