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The xx, an indie dreamy pop band from England, made a stop at the Boulder Theater this Wednesday night as part of their first North American tour. This marked the trio’s first time performing in Boulder.
Opening for the trio were 2:54 and John Talabot. 2:54, a band formed by British sisters, began the evening with their deep, angsty rock. Their sound mirrors the 90s, with a lusty darkness that got the crowd going, even though many did not seem to know who they were.
Next up was John Talabot, a DJ from Barcelona, who produced a trippy sound that the crowd was on the fence about. Those who knew Talabot prior to the show were moving their bodies, while those who didn’t were impatiently waiting for The xx to take the stage. This impatience changed after a few songs though, as the vocals he used to add depth to his melodies helped get newcomers interested.
“We’re thankful for The xx and we’ll play two more songs,” said Talabot. This made the crowd scream and excitement grow as everyone danced to their last two songs, getting energized for what was to come.
After John Talabot, the stage darkened and chatter broke out in the crowd, with excited voices floating around the venue. People in front of the stage were grouped closely, not willing to let others to pass and ruin their perfect spot. Then the lights dimmed and fog appeared on stage. A huge X appeared on the wall behind the stage; it was time for The xx.
They began their set with “Intro,” a melody of instrumentals that carried throughout the theater, with its acoustics making every beat notable. Each wave in the song could be heard, the voices going high then low and drifting amongst the crowd. Bodies flowed with the short tune, getting ready for more.
When “Missing” came on, the lights dimmed, darker than they had been before. The stage darkened with clear bright-white lights shining over the crowd, brightening the stage as fog cascaded from the sides to where the trio was playing. The sound of a heart beating in the background, mixed with the strong, hushed vocals of Oliver Sim, followed by Romy Madley Croft. When the song reached its break, the audience paused their movement until Sim’s voice came back. As he sang his face was captivating, completely one with the song, conveying the feeling of every word.
The most danced-to song of the evening was “Sunset,” a tune off their new album “Coexist.” This upbeat song got everyone dancing as the blinding lights followed its pronounced beats.
Croft would shut her eyes and would be still as Sim romanced the audience, every movement fluid as he sang into the microphone. This combination of opposites, along with Jamie Smith’s danceable beats, gave The xx excellent stage presence.
In between songs “Chained” and “Infinity,” Sim stumbled to the mic and said “Seven years performing and I’ve never fallen over.” He went on further to apologize for taking their time to come on, in which the crowd responded with cheers, ready for more to come from them and not ready for the evening to end.
As the trio left the stage, stomping and wooing ensued, leading the floors to shake and wobble. The crowd wanted more, and The xx returned to play “Tides.”
After “Tides,” Sim said “Hopefully we will see you soon.” They then preceded to play “Stars,” which was the perfect ending to the evening, capturing the attention and voices of the crowd. The music was so soulful and sad that the audience moved poetically, allowing everything that The xx was throwing at them to be absorbed. Behind the musicians, white lights appeared on the black wall, giving the illusion of stars.
“The xx was euphoric. I loved every single second of their performance,” said Shirley Cheung, a cognitive science and speech, language and hearing sciences student, after the show. “I’ve been waiting for years for them to tour and I will die a satisfied woman because they ended with my all-time favorite song, ‘Stars.’ I feel so lucky.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Claudia Rebora at Claudia.firstname.lastname@example.org.