Riviera Theatre – Chicago, IL
April 19, 2010
Fresh from their (well reviewed) performance at Coachella, The xx opened for an excited crowd at The Riviera. The xx have played a total of three times in Chicago: The Bottom Lounge last fall, Lincoln Hall double show in early April and now The Riviera Theatre opening for Hot Chip. I caught two out of three of these shows, however I have found that The xx make a “better” opener than headlining act. Now I’m not saying they are unworthy as a headliner. I spent all night at Lincoln Hall covering their first headlining tour at Lincoln Hall. However, there was something wildly realized at this performance at the Riviera. And we like it.
More photos of The xx after the jump…
Romy Madley Croft (vocals, guitar)
Jamie Smith (programming, drum machine)
Yes, yes. It was the same set up as before: Romy Croft on the left, Oliver Sim on the right and Jamie Smith behind a massive collection of electronics. Even the set was the exact same, but they seemed a little more comfortable in The Riviera’s large space than before at Lincoln Hall. Croft singing “Shelter” echoed though the venue; the quiet plea not quite drowning out the young things who felt it necessary to chat incessantly throughout the down tempo parts of the set. There was something more exciting about the vocals this time. They were purposefully unique this time around. Still, The xx were more welcomed at The Riviera crowd opening for Hot Chip. Perhaps the sold out crowd wanted to see their earlier shows and couldn’t score a ticket. Maybe Hot Chip just brings an excitable crowd to fill the spaces of The Riviera.
Oliver Sim (vocals, bass)
The show started promptly at 8:00 PM and was over before we knew it. What some fans didn’t really understand was that the band really doesn’t have a long set list of material they could work with. Their debut album, xx, is less than an hour in length. They have a few covers they could pop in, but really kids, don’t be disappointed when you show up half an hour late and expect to see The xx play for another hour.
Rumors of The xx playing at Chicago’s own Pitchfork festival have been dissolved. The xx are set to play Grant Park this summer, probably to yet another sold out crowd. Show up early and get a good show before these twenty-somethings blow up into the next indie thing everyone has their hands on.
Written by: Blake Russell
Photographed by: Jennifer Boyer