Posted in music | pictures on April 1, 2010

photos by Bao Nguyen

The XX

"They started their set behind a huge white curtain glorified with epic lighting that showed all three members as huge silhouettes dramatically playing "Intro". They played all of the songs on their debut album, including a cover of a Kyla song called "Do You Mind". Going into the show I was worried about how the xx would put the songs together live while keeping the crowd involved and interested. They had no problem. They gave songs like Basic Space and Night Time a new life live, engaging the crowd with extra bass and dance inspired electronics. Romy Croft and Oliver Sim's voices were top notch live delivering all of their lyrics with the same passionate consignment that made their debut so excellent." [We All Want Some]
The above review is from the xx/jj/Nosaj Thing show that happened Wednesday, March 31st at Webster Hall. Those three bands (who played in the same lineup at Big Ears) continue on tour for the next few weeks.

The xx didn't play a show on Tuesday night (that we know of... maybe they played an Auto Show party like She & Him did for Audi last night), but jj used her off night to headline Knitting Factory and Nosaj Thing opened for Kode9 and Flying Lotus at Le Poisson Rouge on that evening (which was the show right after Tanlines and Micachu and the Shapes). Reviews of jj's live show haven't been very positive which used to be the same problem The xx had, but now more and more people are starting to say really nice things about the headliner's live show.

After this tour, the xx team up with Hot Chip for shows that include an April 22nd sold out gig at Terminal 5.

Jamie xx (who's working on a remix of Gil Scott-Heron's I'm New Here) DJed after their Webster Hall show at Santos as part of Fixed. Check out his remix of Jack Penate's "Pull My Heart Away" at WNYC. Jamie didn't remix it, but it should be noted that The Notorious xx, a mashup of Notorious B.I.G. and the xx, has been making rounds online.

More pictures and set list from Webster Hall are below...

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The XX

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The xx March 31st at Webster Hall set list (via)
Intro
Crystalised
Islands
Heart Skipped A Beat
Fantasy
Shelter
VCR
Do You Mind (Kyla Cover)
Basic Space
Night Time
Infinity

Encore:
Stars

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Comments (47)

How was jj? As lackluster as all the SXSW reviews?

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:05 PM

I'm glad I didn't pay $100 to a scalper to see this like many others clearly did

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:07 PM

XX is kew

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:13 PM

SXSW reviews were spot-on

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:23 PM

I'm also glad you didn't pay $100, but regardless you missed a great show. Not a fan of Webster Hall. That said their show last night was much better than the Bowery show a few months back.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:24 PM

jj kind of scares me. she looks like an ex-juggalo

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:26 PM

jj was the possibly the worse live act I've ever seen. I'll give her credit because she managed to look more bored than I was. It's a sad and pathetic act.

The XX was great!

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:26 PM

people who like this band are dumb

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:30 PM

jj's set, as always, was minimalistic and wonderful. the audience as a whole seemed pretty uninterested in giving them a chance, but anyone who put in the effort to pay attention I'm sure walked away impressed by the beauty of Elin's voice (and if not - are you sure you actually like music? and not just reading blogs and dressing well?).
not every band has the nerves to put on an energetic, theatrical live show - sometimes it really is just all about the music.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:34 PM

absolutely incredible show!!!

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:35 PM

at least immortal recognize that they're wearing costumes. this shit is embarrassing.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:38 PM

Maybe someone could appreciate jj's music live if they actually played any. I've never heard the studio album, so I had nothing to go on. Wasn't impressed at all by them.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:39 PM

I am sick of seeing that bass players stupid hair all the time

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:41 PM

I enjoy JJ's studio output. However, singing live over EVERYTHING being pre-recorded (I think the guy's guitar was just for show) was kind of a let down. Also, you can play off the "cool artist" vibe and not look so disinterested.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 12:51 PM

are the XX the next PB&J?

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:00 PM

bass player's hair is hot. au

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:01 PM

at least immortal recognize that they're wearing costumes. this shit is embarrassing.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:08 PM

jj has got to be the most bizaare act i've seen this year. Lyrically awkward, karaoke style singing, a singer who looks like she had a bad day and does not want to be there, a guitar player who strummed three chords. they sucked.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:25 PM

chill out and listen, jjftw

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:36 PM

I saw jj open up for the xx in DC and they were really awkward, with the guy running out twice during the set when Elin looked like she was about to break down and giving her huge hugs. However, the Knitting Factory show was completely different. Elin was constantly smiling, and the guy walked out smoking a joint during the third song and stayed out the entire time to play guitar. Perhaps it was that they were headlining the show, but it was awesome.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:53 PM

jj was the best ever

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 1:59 PM

jj at knitting factory the other night was one of the more disappointing shows i've ever seen.

love the albums, but my god it was bad. she's got an amazing voice, get a band and do something about it

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 2:00 PM

jj at knitting factory the other night was one of the more disappointing shows i've ever seen.

love the albums, but my god it was bad. she's got an amazing voice, get a band and do something about it

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 2:00 PM

i saw JJ at SXSW and felt as uncomfortable as she looked. it was awkward. they were running a video behind her i guess to keep peoples interest but maybe she shouldve been watching cuz she looked so bored like she didnt want to be there. maybe the music on the album is great but the live show is not entertaining at all. i guess i understand being nervous and all (catpower anyone) but maybe she should have a band if thats the case. when you are the main attraction and you cant handle the attention, its probably time to consider a new profession. live show needs a definite retool if she wants to have a career. anyone who brought her to SXSW and thought that would fly should have their head examined. its really a waste of a high profile slot on the xx tour, sellouts every night pretty much. this is a case when the exposure may hurt.

Posted by sheishotbut... | April 1, 2010 2:03 PM

ok, mr. music industry guy ^

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 2:19 PM

xx made me want to drink nyquil and die, not in a good way. I missed JJ on purpose.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 2:54 PM

wish it was tough alliance instead :/

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 3:17 PM

i didnt go to the show, but i mean you talk about getting a full band for jj. that shit costs money, she is flying over from sweden and musicans dont play for free. not to mention rehearsing. i am sure it probably was awkward and boring, as alot of first bands performances are. this is why hyping the shit out of bands doesnt really allow the "growing pains" of being in a band and developing your live show. sort of similar to salem at fader fort. i mean these bands have only played a few shows ever. and people think they will just walk out there and nail it the first time. most of them play on sub-par equipment because that is all they can afford. i understand the need to be critical, you paid money, performances shouldnt suck we all agree, but it is pretty weird for your first performance ever in New York to be at Webster, i mean that shit just shouldnt happen.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 3:22 PM

the girl from jj looks like she ate Lykki Li.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 4:16 PM

saw jj at KF. essentially karaoke. really, spectacularly boring and hardly any performance besides uninterested singing. a note to musicians who can’t perform their recorded music (which is completely reasonable in itself): DON’T TOUR.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 4:31 PM

doesn't sigur ros open their shows this way?

Posted by Dubya | April 1, 2010 4:32 PM

@3:22, totally understandable, but then play free shows if you can't get a decent performance together. KF show wasn't that cheap but it sure was terrible.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 4:33 PM

who the fuck is JJ. (she's scary)

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 4:42 PM

playing free shows seems unreasonable, as again how do you get money to fly over here, get to sxsw, nyc etc... free shows can work if you live here, but makes little sense for international bands. i agree to a certain extent that you shouldnt tour if your shit isnt together, but i mean it is part of the promotional machine to sell records. i mean you have to tour...especially when you have so much artificial hype created.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 4:49 PM

who cares about JJ I can't believe people love the XX so much. Seems like some sort of pyramid scheme.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 5:14 PM

This show was boring as shit. It had the thickest cloud of pot smoke this side of a Phish concert, so maybe that contributed to people's enjoyment. I was sadly not high, hence, boredom.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 5:46 PM

Is JJ that homeless woman that hangs around Tim Horton's in Penn Station?

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 6:32 PM

i want them to play u've got the love. do they/will they?

Posted by brian | April 1, 2010 7:33 PM

jj has maybe played 10 shows ever? clearly they bit off more than they can chew on this tour. it's a shame cause those records are wonderful. i think once she gets over the stage fright and they recruit a live band they could be great.

Posted by Anonymous | April 1, 2010 10:50 PM

I think for opening bands that haven't played a number of shows outside of their native countries, where they may have a warmer reception, things may get a little 'fuzzy' during their first few live performances outside of their 'bubble'. The audiences response can also play a significant part in how good a live performance turns out, for an opening act. For instance, when I first saw The xx open for Friendly Fires last December, although I am a fan a The xx I'll admit that their set wasn't exactly brilliant. At the same time, the crowd were really shitty and for the most talked throughout their entire set - which in turn made it an unenjoyable experience for me. However, friends of mine that have seen them play in the UK have raved about how good they were during their headlining shows. Plus, I think they get more love over there. Same goes for Friendly Fires. When I first saw them live two years ago, they were pretty good. Seeing them after a year and a half, well, they were brilliant!

Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 12:36 AM

the audience plays a critical part in fueling the performance. I have seen it so many times when people just stand there like, ok we are here for the show. that or just talk through the set. it really sets an awkward mood and makes it hard for a performer to perform their best. I mean we're all just people, performers can get really bugged out by an awkward situation.

Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 6:24 AM

jj's set was marred by too many beer drinking idiots flapping their jaws and saying nothing... i don't think anyone can be critical of a set of songs you couldn't hear... if you want to talk go outside or just stay home...

Posted by moldymind | April 2, 2010 8:47 AM

THE EMBASSY >>>>> JJ

Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 10:40 AM

The JJ girls voice was nice. Not sure what was going on with the guy. I think he was on shrooms. They definitely need to work on their stage presence, but i thought she was ok. And the XX were exxcelent.

Posted by clairepetrol | April 2, 2010 2:00 PM

what happens if they stop wearing all black???

Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 4:00 PM

if jj has only played a few shows ever live and is not comfortable performing live and hasnt honed her live act, you shouldn't put her in front of near sold out audiences every night, thats a lot of pressure for someone with a lot of hype but no confidence. the show i was at was very quiet not much drinking or talking hardly and it still was awkward city.

Posted by Anonymous | April 2, 2010 4:08 PM

Jj was great managing to put on an even more minimalistic live act than the XX. Although they were merely an opener I expect to see this live act make their way throughout the states on a second round headling tour with a more solid performance. This I felt the case the same time I saw the Xx and their full potential came to fruition.

Posted by Steve Scheno | April 21, 2010 1:40 AM

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