It was an excruciating wait for the guest DJ to finish his set so we could have The xx up on stage. I could get lost in his beats in other circumstances but the anxiety of being one step closer to seeing and hearing the familiar and comforting sounds of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim, and Jamie Smith a.k.a. Jamie xx was greater. I just wanted the moment of being at a The xx gig to last but I wanted them on stage already!
My friend Meg and I were running on almost zero sleep that day because of our early morning flight but being inside Star Hall in Hong Kong surrounded by fellow fans can easily knock exhaustion out of the top of your head. And once the familiar beats of Jamie’s mixes hit the speakers, it just woke me up faster than any cup of coffee could.
By the time they came out for Try, both Meg and I were shaking. I have not felt that flustered in front of any celebrity ever. I had Oliver a few feet away from where I was standing and the reality of that shook me to the core. They are such big rock stars for me. The first couple of shots I took with my phone were all so blurry because I was shaking too much. That lasted until my phone lost its juice and I was just left to enjoy the entire concert. It wasn’t really a bad trade-off, to be honest.
The entire experience felt like a dream. Hearing the songs I’ve listened to almost non-stop for the past year was being performed in front of me. We got as close to the stage as we could and I could feed off Oliver’s energy and how he wanted to give us a show we wouldn’t forget. He was so into the performance that he oozes sexiness—at least in between his occasional ninja swig from a bottle of San Miguel Pale Pilsen (the Filipina in me was happy).
There was this moment during Fiction, I believe, where he wiped off some beer from his lips and I instinctively let out a really loud squeal/scream. It caught this guy to my right by surprise. It didn’t really embarrass me as much as it surprised me that I reacted that way.
I got to hear most of what I wanted to hear but, of course, I wanted more. I would not have complained if they decided to play their entire discography but I’d take those 17 tracks of pure goodness.
The standout moments had to be Heart Skipped Beat (because it is a personal fave), the Far Nearer transition to Sunset, Fiction (of course), VCR, and those really beautiful versions of Chained and Angels (which both need an official remix/live release or something). And I can’t even put into words how perfect Intro sounds live. I loved how big a part the lighting played in the show, too. It helped pull me into the trio’s performance even more.
I really cannot gush enough about how great that evening was. Oliver and his stage presence, Romy and her beauty and haunting singing, and Jamie and his timidness mixed with his quiet confidence that enables him to create great beats that serve as the group’s backbone musically.
Now, I just have to wait until they fly back and perform again at this part of the world. Or perhaps, I’d have enough money in the future to watch them play elsewhere, like another Night + Day festival in the future or that Mexico concert on New Year’s Eve?
As a bonus, I stumbled on this fan video made from the Hong Kong concert (which was done rather well, I might add). It helps me remember what happened that night and see the concert from the other side of the hall.