Friday, June 7, 2013

Duelling Guest Columnists Bad Buddha and The Buddhette Review The XX At Uptown Theater

So, The XX hit the Uptown this week and everyone went batshit crazy.  But how was the show itself?  Was it overhyped and dull or was it buzzworthy and transcendent?   Let's look at two different perspectives from our friends Bad Buddha and the Buddhette.

We'll start with the Buddhette:

"Last night the Bad Buddhist and I traveled afar to the XX show at Uptown Theater. I know we were at the same show because I could see him the whole time.

The main show started promptly at 9:30. The XX took the stage donning all black, the lady in some sort of sport coat. I immediately wondered if they were German. I should really learn more about bands before I see them live. The weirdly beautiful music began as the bass player and the guitarist stared at each other. Was this some sort of meta-commentary on concerts? When the bass player did engage the audience it was to give us a smoldering look of "I know you want me to help you cut yourself and, if you are lucky, I will."

I am pretty sure they played their entire catalog. It is so hard to tell when all the songs sound alike. And, without laying on the floor contemplating the meaning of life, I just couldn't be positive. About half-way through they started the laser show. After all, you can really only stare at each other in a suggestive way for about 45 minutes. One of the highlights of the lasers was when someone slightly closer to the stage raised their crutch to bisect the beam.

The show ended with a laser beam "X" and all the kids swaying at least three inches in each direction. The encore consisted of the dance-ier songs and was the first time that the band looked like they were having any fun at all. 

Overall:   buy a good sound system and crank it up and you'll have basically the same experience, but without the smelly art kids invading your personal space."

But what says the Buddha? 

"Well, well, it's the other side of the coin here. The XX at the Uptown Theater was a great concert, seeing as how I went in with no expectations except for lasers (thanks Tumblr) and much louder versions of my favorite songs.

I'll start off by saying that The XX was not big on interacting with the audience. Which is absolutely fine. They're the kind of band with the kind of music where interaction and participation would just be silly.

There were one or two minor instances where guitarist/singer Romy Madley Croft and bassist/singer Oliver Sim were off time with one another for five seconds. Aside from that, they played the songs perfectly and were much more energetic in comparison to their studio albums. Typically described as low and whispery, The XX definitely had a strong caffeine buzz going on Tuesday night. While the more melancholy songs were still melancholy, the rest were played and had the feel of dance music, which is something I never got from listening to their records.

All of the songs were from their two albums--XX and their latest, Coexist--which is typical for a band riding the waves of their sophomore release. It would have been cool to hear more of their songs flow into one another rather than taking breaks between nearly every song. Such flow is not beyond the scope of the third band member, Jamie XX, who is also known as a remix artist and producer.  Also it would have been great to hear their take on a few covers.  But their live take on their own songs more than made up for that.

In their first song, "Try," the opening "wee-oo-wee-oo-weeee-oo-wee-
oo"  was extended and helped to build up anxiety for their performance. I had a pretty good view of the stage since all of the twee girls from Tumblr and their over-cologned boyfriends stood in front of me.  Romy was a little standoffish, really only getting into the songs when she was playing. On the other hand, Oliver got into the music and had a good time with it. He stumbled around and grooved, stylistically-inebriated.  While goofy, it didn't make that much of a difference if you were into the music.

There was a lot of pot smoke in the air that was matched by the smoke machines. As fellow concert attender the Buddhette mentioned to me "Only bad music needs to be enhanced by marijuana, like Dave Matthews Band." However, I once had a magical experience with Animal Collective's Prospect Hummer and a one hitter on a chilly morning alone in a baseball field.

Overall:   The XX was fun to watch and even better to listen to. The lights and lasers enhanced and added to the experience and were well-timed to the music. It was great to hear them as dance music which the crowd got into. At several points one audience member raised his crutches into the air showing that The XX's live music soothed the savage leg injury. Whenever they decide to come back I will be going again. Even if you're only vaguely familiar with their music or just kind of like them, you should go."

Moody photo snagged from :


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