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The xx luminesce the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium during their three-night Fauxchella run

The xxPhotos by Norm de Veyra // Written by Molly Kish //

The xx with Sampha //
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco
April 17th, 2017 //

Between their highly anticipated performances at Coachella (read our festival review here), The xx played three consecutive nights in SF at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Drawing capacity crowds each evening at the 7,000-person venue, the London trio openly expressed its gratitude for the Bay Area’s steadfast support over the years.

After Young Turks labelmate Sampha ignited a “love fest” with his standout opening set, The xx followed with an almost two-hour performance that featured emotive tracks and extended remixes from all three of their studio albums. Taking the audience on a breathtaking journey through light and sound, The xx, outfitted with their stunning new stage design, worked the title of their new album and tour “I See You” into the show. With filtered lights bouncing off rotating mirrors that were interspersed throughout the stage’s parameters, The xx used stark contrasts of chiaroscuro as well as dramatic LED screens to envelop each audience member’s sensory perception.

The xx

Playfully alluding to their material’s emotional sentiment, Romy Madley Croft (vocals, guitar) and Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) managed to entrance all of us with their tension-filled gazes and syncopated dance moves. Prolonging vocal arrangements, especially during their accelerated live interpretation of “Infinity”, were also stunning to witness. About halfway through the set, Jamie Smith (beats, MPC, production), aka Jamie xx, took the lead and transformed the room into a giant disco party thanks to an onslaught of consecutive dance hits before finishing with “Loud Places” from his 2015 solo LP In Colour.

After the show, I had a chance to catch up with all three band members as we discussed their feelings about the SF run and how it compared to the rest of their North American tour dates. While they said “it was the best run of shows that they had played,” I made sure to cheerfully reply with “you have to say that.” To no avail though, all three members of the band assured me that they were completely sincere about their statement. They expressed further gratitude for the overwhelming response they received from their Bay Area fans, which truly resonated through not only the transposed appreciation, but also the magic that was felt over the course of their three performances.

Setlist:
Say Something Loving
Crystalised
Islands
I Dare You
Lips
Sunset
Basic Space
Performance
Brave for You
Infinity
VCR
Dangerous
A Violent Noise
Fiction
Shelter
Loud Places (Jamie xx cover)

Encore:
On Hold
Intro
Angels

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