The London indie-electronic trio opened with "Say Something Loving," from new album I See You, Tuesday night.
The London indie-electronic trio opened with "Say Something Loving," from new album I See You, Tuesday night.
Photo by Jack Gorman

Atmospheric The xx Warms Up Packed Revention Center

The xx
Revention Music Center
May 9, 2017

Flanked by eight spinning mirrors, The xx took to the Revention Music Center stage Tuesday night with "Say Something Loving." Guitarist Romy Madley Croft and bassist Oliver Sim sang of the thrill of newfound love atop a sample of the Alessi Brothers’ “Do You Feel It," courtesy of bandmate and producer Jamie xx.

Lights danced above the crowd's outstretched hands, and bodies swayed back and forth to the atmospheric piece, which crescendoed with a hard stop and cut to black as fans roared their approval. Before the crowd even quieted down, The xx began playing "Crystalised," the lead single from their eponymous debut album.

Preferring to take a back seat to the accompanying light show and music itself, The xx reimagined much of their catalog during their latest visit to the Bayou City. The band managed to capitalize on its penchant for blending atmospheric indie-rock with electronic and pop undertones without having to say much to the crowd in between tracks.

Bassist Oliver Sim told the crowd that visiting NASA earlier in the day made him feel like a kid again.
Bassist Oliver Sim told the crowd that visiting NASA earlier in the day made him feel like a kid again.
Photo by Jack Gorman

The xx's formula is simple: While Croft and Sim take listeners by the emotional reins, Jamie xx reels them in with samples and dance-friendly beats. Tuesday night's performance delivered as much, but also saw the band performing updated versions of some older cuts. Some tracks were sped up; others were slowed down; bass was accentuated in a few places; and Croft even played a song by her lonesome.

Before her solo act, Croft professed her fear of screwing it up. But she also noted the song's significance in her own life before launching into "Performance" despite her anxiety. Her quivering vocals and guitar filled the near-silent venue as she sang of putting on a strong face amid heartache. Fans were transfixed by her candor.

Near the end of the show, The xx loosened up a bit. Sim spoke of visiting NASA and feeling like a ten-year-old before sharing an anecdote about "Dangerous," the first track on the group's latest album, I See You.

"I had started the tour dedicating this song to the couples in the audience, but I'm single and a little bit jaded," he said. "I feel like couples get enough admiration from each another, so...Not to exclude any couples, but I want to dedicate this song to all the single people in the audience. I love you."

Guitarist Romy Madley Croft transfixed the crowd with her candor.
Guitarist Romy Madley Croft transfixed the crowd with her candor.
Photo by Jack Gorman

By the end of the show, Croft and Sim had found their footing with the stage banter. It took nearly an hour, but both London-born musicians seemed quite comfortable being the center of attention during the home stretch, which is good because fans will surely expect another visit. Preferably soon.

SET LIST
Say Something Loving
Crystalised
Islands
I Dare You
Lips
Sunset
Replica
Performance
Infinity
VCR
Dangerous
Shelter
Loud Places
On Hold
Intro
Angel

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