The XX under the stars


White lights rose in opposite directions, forming an X in the sky. The Hollywood Bowl lit up with white smoke, thrilled fans, and the melodic voices of Romy and Oliver. I looked around to see bodies moving in rhythm to the music as Oliver swayed left and right with his guitar, playing “Fiction,” a solo that was well delivered.

A band that has recently become popular amongst underground music lovers, The XX played a sold out concert at the nation’s grandest venue, The Hollywood Bowl, on Sept 29. As I sat at the farthest row atop the bowl, I could hear the low humming of the base, vibrating through hills and mountains of the city.

Austra and The Chromatics introduced the band, who finally performed their opening act at 8:45, about two hours after the concert began. I was slightly put to sleep by Austra, who had wonderful music, but minimal lyrics or vocals and absolutely no stage presence. The Chromatics were a tad more engaging, but nonetheless uninteresting.

I was impatiently waiting for The XX; no introduction necessary. When they finally appeared on the stage, dressed in plain black blazers and slacks, guitars in hand, the crowd went ecstatic. The bottom rows of people suddenly rose, phones high in the air, eager to capture every note and every moment that echoed through the bowl.

The XX played songs from both of their albums, xx and Coexist. I was hoping they would play a few cover songs, but they decided to stick to their own music. Towards the end of the concert, the orchestra emerged on stage, and played “Together,” The XX’s single for The Great Gatsby film this year, an outstanding performance. The orchestra added something more to the music; it was powerful and compelling. A wonderful ending to a concert under the stars.