Those gorgeous guitar lines, the hushed harmonies, and the pounding beats... Live, The XX was an intense experience, their performance everything their album suggests they will be. Problem for me was, they were TOO MUCH like the album.
Reta loved them to bits because it apparently appeals to 'emo kids' like her. Me, I thought it was great, but after the initial thrill of watching them live and hearing the songs live wore off, it got a little monotonous about 5 songs in. Maybe it was because I was watching them from a balcony, seated; not like Reta who was geeking out on the floor standing in front of the stage. Heck, from my seat I was wondering if Oliver was a Na'vi in a past life, especially wearing those short three quarter pants and cradling his little bass guitar in the blue light.
Look, I love their music - the album is an brilliant debut, full of lush, dark and beautiful songs that are downbeat and emo at the same time, and filled some EXCELLENT guitar lines and harmonies. Hearing VCR and Crystalised live was particularly great for me, and so was Islands. But my problem was it just would not justify paying full concert price to watch just them, at least not when they only have one album of material under their belts.
Of course I don't expect them to do a Green Day and bring the roof down, but until they can prove they are not just a one trick pony and come up with more songs and do more on stage besides play their instruments, stare at their shoelaces and hit some cymbals; I'll stick to the album, thank you very much.
In contrast, Florence And The Machine were almost the complete opposite from The XX. Florence herself was bubbly, fun, animated and cute, and when she sang (or rather, SHOUTED most of the time), she was just plain awesome. The XX gets into their music by concentrating ALL their energy and focus into their instruments. Florence Welch gets into HER music by flinging her hair around, dancing and jumping around and even headbanging along with the beats.
My personal favorites were of course, Dog Days Are Over, Kiss With a Fist and the awesome Drumming, though the pounding beats of Hurricane Crush, the soaring Howl and Blinding also stuck in my head long after I left the hall. I never realized that Florence SHOUTS so much on her songs though, but when I listened back to the album, I realised she really DOES shout a lot... on the album it was ok, but it's a little jarring live in a venue like the Esplanade though...
Still, she's bloody cute, and has great legs, so who cares...
All in all, if you were there for just The XX and fell asleep during Florence; or went for Florence but sat in your chair wishing The XX would get on with it, then it may not have been worth the ticket price. But heck, I love BOTH bands, and to me, the whole show was a perfect combination of Ying and Yang: The XX's dark moody music contrasting sharply with Florence And The Machine's wild exuberant energy.
Now bring on Placebo, Kings of Convenience and 65daysofstatic!
- Basic Space
- Night Time
Florence And The Machine
- My Boy Builds Coffins
- Kiss With A Fist
- Hurricane Drunk
- Between Two Lungs
- Cosmic Love
- I'm Not Calling You A Liar
- Hospital Bed
- Dog Days Are Over
- You've Got The Love
- Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)