Photos by Merideth C. & review by Dave G.
The xx, an indie pop trio from London, have been touring since 2009. In that time, they have never played a show in Detroit. On Wednesday, June 12 the long wait for xx fans came to an end. I didn’t really know what to expect from the live show of a band I usually listen to with headphones when I want to unwind. The minimal, atmospheric sounds play well when it’s just me, but how would they translate in front of 2000 fans at the Fillmore? I won’t keep you wondering, it was wonderful. If it weren’t for the exuberant cheers of the crowd in the few quite parts of the set, I might have forgotten where I was. To say I was enchanted would be an understatement. Singer and bassist Oliver Sim’s low, heavy vocals combined with singer and guitarist Romy ‘s sweet, breathy vocals engulfed the room and dug deep into everyone listening. On the sampler, turntables, and steel drum, Jamie xx was mesmerizing as he kept an almost constant stream of sound going between songs.
Though having played Detroit before, co-headliner’s Grizzly Bear share a similar distance to the city as The xx. It has been 6 long years since their last Detroit show. It was clear that their fans didn’t hold any grudges, but were simply happy to have them back. Grizzly Bear played an opening set that could have easily been it’s own headlining show. It was obvious that the band was very happy to be back. Playing their usual blend of melancholy psychedelic folk and multi-instrumental art rock, Grizzly Bear had the audience wrapped in the palm of its hand. Fan favorite included “Knife”, “While You Wait For Others” and “Two Weeks.”
This was a really great show. It would be a shame if either of these bands stayed away for as long as they have. Here’s to both of them returning soon; I know I’ll be there when they do.