Sunday, 9 December 2012

The xx at The Olympia Theatre (8/10/12) - A Review

Following The xx's headline performance at Electric Picnic 2012, the London trio returned to Ireland this weekend for a set of shows in the Olympia Theatre, Dublin.

The summer gig was highly acclaimed for the most part, but as a huge xx fan myself I had to admit disappointment, having felt that their presence outdoors on the Main Stage was awkward and made for a non-existent atomsphere in Stradbally that evening. So the announcement of a December gig in the Olympia of all places was an extremely welcome announcement, providing the chance to see the low key act bring their notoriously intimate live show to an intimate Irish venue.

Support was provided by rising Irish star MMOTHS who completed a short set in just under 30 minutes before the band took to the stage and kicked off with ''Coexist'' opener ''Angels'' and crowd favourite ''Heart Skipped A Beat'' to an extremely receptive audience. From there the band bega a long list of songs taken from their latest as ''Fiction'', ''Reunion'' and ''Sunset'' were played with excellent remixes of ''Crystalised'' and ''Shelter'' in between. The same two had been reimagined for their set at Electric Picnic but while their alternate versions fell flat on a festival audience, in this venue both sounded excellent in a new style with a different setting, as a funky drum track was added to ''Shelter'' while ''Crystalised'' was stripped down and slowed up.

An impressive stage set up added the band's trademark style to proceedings while percussion and beats were controlled by the eternally unsung hero that is Jamie xx who pulled the electronic strings behind Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim all night long.

A string of hits from the debut album in the form of ''VCR'' and ''Islands'' helped to wind up the set alongside my personal favourite taken from ''Coexist'', ''Chained''. EP closer ''Infinity'' was once again the last song of the set and a more than worthy finish with blinding lights flashing as the drums pounded over Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim's provocative vocals.

Chants followed the band as they exited the stage and as the three returned for an encore performance they received an incredibly loud reception for ''Intro'' and ''Tides'' before ending with a song that was noticably absent from their festival set, ''xx'' closer and their greatest in my opinon, ''Stars''. It was the perfect way to end the night and bring a close to a set that by far exceeded the band's previous Irish performance and gave the audience something to remember for a long time.

Hopefully it won't be long before we see The xx return to an Irish audience, and with the style that they executed last night's gig, I'm sure they'd be very welcome.

Heart Skipped A Beat
Night Time
Swept Away



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