Photos by Joyce Lee
Oh, how New York has missed The xx. It’s hard to fathom that 4 long years have passed without new music from the trio. On Saturday night, Romy Croft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie Smith returned to New York, conquering the second of two sold-out nights at Forest Hills Stadium in support of their third album, I See You.
After Sampha warmed the sunset crowd with his soulful hits, the usually shy trio commanded a stage decorated in massive mirror panels and flickering lights. Opening with “Say Something Loving,” the band introduced a new sound and confidence that was both refreshing and uncharacteristic.
They went on with more new cuts like “I Dare You,” their latest single, and “Lips.” Every other song was received with cheers and stomping — clearly the crowd enjoyed the new material. Not only did I See You hone in on the their relatable vulnerability, but it also showed off how Jamie xx’s solo effort In Colour clearly introduced a marked confidence in the third LP. This confidence visibly translated into the band’s live show. Their shyness, though, still came through at times, including when Oliver was made to stall the crowd during some technical difficulties — the awkwardness was simply endearing and humble. When the kinks were resolved, the band continued through “Dangerous” and “On Hold,” their first and most danceable single from the new record.
Though much of their music would be considered soft and ambient, when heard live, each song assumes a life of its own. The dancing and crowd excitement escalated when Jamie xx treated New Yorkers to a cut from his solo project, “Loud Places.” Though the show reached a tangible peak during that song, the energy from the reserved three piece was unrelenting throughout. The xx rounded out the night with “Intro” and “Angels.” It’s been a long 4 years without the Londoners, but this one night showed New York still adores The xx wholeheartedly.