The XX at Berkeley’s Greek Theater

The XX - X

I have to admit…  When I first saw tickets go on sale for the XX, I was a bit hesitant to purchase them.  Why?  Well, if you are familiar with their music, then you know that it can be pretty mellow and slow-paced.  And, in terms of live performances, this can turn in one of two directions.  You may end up with a shoe-gazing show where the band just plays through their set as you stare down at your shoes and rock back and forth to the beat.  OR, they turn out to be engaging performers who interact with the audience well and transform the music into a sound that can’t be reproduced through your music player at home.

Well, with all this said, the XX were incredible at the Greek Theater.  They drew in one the biggest audiences they have had in the states with a sold out show.  And, they did not cease to express extreme gratitude for having such support from their fans.

The XX - Audience

As depicted with this standing ovation at the end, the XX performed with so much energy and intensity that swept the crowd off their feet.  The production was also amazing with a fitting laser show for that additional wow factor.

The XX - Light Show

Most of all, I was thoroughly impressed by the raw musical talent.  Romy at her guitar, Oliver at his bass, and Jamie with an elaborate electronic switchboard set-up.  We watched Jamie Smith literally play chords on the keyboard while drumming on an electronic drum set.  How is that for multitasking?

Now, for some fun facts about this trio.

1. Don’t mistake Romy and Oliver as a couple.  They are very close, but more as siblings.  The two have been family friends since the age of 3. *from Play Paranoid

The XX - Duet

2. They chose the band name due to its aesthetic appeal and versatility.  As Romy reminisced in an interview, “Me and Oliver were sitting typing on Word. And I was like ‘I like X’s, I really like X’s’. I just thought it was aesthetically pleasing. X is a really nice symbol.” *from BBC Newsbeat

The XX - X

3. All three members met at Elliott School, the same school that produced Hot Chip, Burial, The Maccabees, and Four Tet.  Though, they say that this had little influence on their music.

The XX - The XX

They definitely took me by surprise and I would definitely recommend catching them the next time they are in town!

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