Show Review: The XX at ACL Live (05/11)

Thursday saw indie pop giants The XX performing for the secondnight in a row at a sold out Moody Theater. Flying high off the release of their latest album,I See You, as well as a series of announcements of headlining spots at festivals (cough cough ACL Fest), the three piece brought with them an air of swagger and professionalism that matches their sleek and ever-sexy sound.

Read on for some thoughts about the show and some pretty photos from a new to ATH contributor, Ismael Quintanilla III.

Opening up the night was fellow brit, Sampha— who is known with his work with several famous artists(Kanye, Solange, to name a few) and who also just released his debut album,Process. His music is largely electronically based, but at the center of it all was his deep and resonant vocals. His opening performance was well placed, as the electro R&B sat well with fans of the headliners, and we all warmed up our dancing feet to his beats. The best stand out track for me was “(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano–” go check it out.

As the crew began to change the stage between the opener and headliner, you could get a sense of the vastness of what was coming. Large pillars of mirrors and lights were placed all around the outside of the stage and an elevated platform for Jamie XX.These pillars would rotate and both throw and cast off light and throw the stage lights with their mirrored sides. They opened with new hit “Say Something Loving,” and there was no hesitation from the crowd– they had been instantly won over and responded to the new material with overwhelming applause. From here on out the band doled out hit after hit off both the newest album and the band’s 2009 smash debut. Only a few songs came from the sophomore effort, Coexist. Highlights were new track “Dangerous,” as well as “I Dare You” and the band truly took it to the next level with the end of their set. They played a remixed version of old track “Shelter” which had more of a bounce, thanks to Jamie XX’s magic. This transitioned to Jame XX track, “Loud Places,” which was a truly a huge and explosive way to end the regular set.

For an encore, we got “On Hold,” “Intro,” and “Angels,” as well as a rush of sincerest gratitude from the otherwise cool and composed band. It was a night that makes you pleased for the fame and success of a group–their success is well deserved. Go check them out the next time you can when ACL comes around in October.

Photo Ed Note: It was a difficult shoot, back of the house can be difficult. Thanks to Ish for covering, please check out his work.

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