Live Shots: The xx and Hot Chip, Fox Theater, 04/16/2010


Cooler than their cucumber sound, The xx took a laid-back approach to their Friday night performance, showing little, if any, enthusiasm. The British three-piece is chill, totally sexy and anything but poppy on their recorded work; no one expected a party and yet fans were left with much to desire come the end of the show.

Smoke bellowed throughout the entirety of the set, swallowing up the three musicians in mysteriously delightful clouds of purple and gray. Heads bounced to the wavering bass, hips swayed, and lips pursed as Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim took turns whispering vocals back and forth. I loved watching middle-man, Jamie Smith, work the electronics atop the boxes marked with large x's. His fingers moved mad-fast, tapping out drum parts, synth melodies and setting up the band's liquid loops. 

When they had played through their debut album, adding in a new song or two, The xx left the stage, sending the sold-out crowd into a furry of hoots and claps. An encore was surely expected, but no-- we got totally stood up. After a few minutes of intense cheering, the stage crew crept out into the light with heads down and shrugged their shoulders. The crowd responded with some major boos. How rude, xx! Denied! 

Hot Chip followed with quite a contrasting sound and evoked a wild uproar of spastic dancing throughout the Fox. Dance circles popped up in every aisle and stairway, making drink and bathroom runs nearly impossible and all too personal with sardine-crammed strangers. Hot Chip's pop fizzed and sparkled, and while I personally wasn't feeling the transition between opener and headliner, the rest of the room was totally down.