Last night The xx – who are well on their way to playing every single borough in New York – chose the Music Hall of the Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens as the venue for their last stop on this North American tour. Just getting to the 120 year old theater in Staten Island was a pilgrimage in itself (a train! a ferry! a bus!), which made the endeavor even more worthwhile when you looked around and spotted friends in the crowd. What transpired then was just… one of the most transcendent concert going experiences in my life. The xx (aka one of the best examples of where sound and vision collide) played songs off both their debut and their newly mastered upcoming release Coexist to an audience a fraction of the size what their Terminal 5 shows had. The album artwork and visuals were simultaneously projected on the front of the building as well as inside so we were literally cocooned in a multimedia manifestation of the trio’s work.
I’ve seen Romy, Oliver and Jamie a handful of times over the past 3 years (CMJ Fixed Tribeca Grand basement party never forget!), but I’ve never been brought to tears by their music up until now. It was an almost out of body sonic experience and I wasn’t the only one who was overwhelmed by the beauty. CHECK THIS OUT, NOT MAKING IT UP: the fire alarms went off (smoke machine shenanigans?), but the strobe lights in the auditorium blended in with the band’s own light show and the ringing bells were buried by the music. Long story short, only about 3 people in the balcony got up and made their way to the exits! So there you have it. A gig worth risking your life for. The xx’s new album will be released on September 11th on Young Turks and they’ll be back to play the Bronx in October! Setlist below and more photos after the jump.
The xx at Snug Harbor Music Hall:
Heart Skipped A Beat
Swept Away (Take Care intro)
Intro / Tides / Stars