Tonight I had tickets to see The Xx on their first of two nights in The Olympia Theater. Both nights were sold out well in advance as tickets started from only €29.50 (including booking fee). I have been a huge fan of The Xx for the last few years and managed to see their set at Electric Picnic 2012, which really blew me away. To say I was looking forward to the night is an understatement.
The support on the night came from the ridiculously impressive Irish musician Mmoths (pronounced as ‘mots’). For any of you that don’t know Mmoths is the brainchild of Kildare man Jack Colleran. Mmoths is well known around Ireland and also internationally, having supported acts as big as Aphex Twin. After a hugely popular set at Electric Picnic 2012 it is no surprise that such a large crowd is anticipating his arrival on stage at The Olympia.
On the night Jack is joined on stage by a bassist/guitarist whose name sadly eludes me and the ridiculously impressive drummer Conor Conroy (also of Two Charming Men).
With the three of them set up they launch into their first song. The crowd is obviously aware of who is in front of them as they are very attentive. The set is very impressive as Jack really shows how much he has grown since he first became well known at the age of just 18.
The Mmoths support slot is made even more memorable thanks to the brilliant drumming of Conor Conroy who finds no problem in switching from electronic pads to a more traditional drum kit, sometimes changing mid track. The bassist/guitarist is also very worthy of a mention as he seamlessly swaps between instruments.
Jack Colleran is left on stage alone twice during the opening set. This is when it becomes clear why he is so popular. His passion for creating and mixing beats is fantastic and has the packed crowd begging for more as the set comes to a close. The only draw back is that there is no microphone for him to talk to the crowd other than that it is a great opener to the night. The stand out track of the night is the haunting THNX(video below). Mmoths obviously made a very good impression as The Xx invited them as support on their tour of the United Kingdom in the coming weeks.
A large veil covers the stage as The Xx walk on to rapturous applause from the sold out crowd. Visuals are projected onto it as they launch into ‘Angles’ and mid way through the song it drops to the ground revealing the shit cool trio. With no breaks between songs the crowd is treated to ‘Heart Skipped A Beat’ and ‘Friction’. Jamie turns the microphone around to the crowd and lets them sing the last chorus of the song.
I noticed pretty early on that a second veil was at the back of the stage. Every few minutes it would rise a few inches. It wasn’t until towards the end of the night that it became clear what it was for.
The crowd goes crazy when the first chords of hit song ‘Crystailsed’(video below) are played. Romy Madley Croft and Jamie Smith and Oliver Sim have the crowd swaying back and forth througout. The man in charge of every beat you hear is Jamie Smith and he is flawless as always as he moves from one set up to the next. The use of a steel drum during ‘Reunion’ is a treat for the ears!
With the Olympia shaking and the crowd enjoying themselves Romy and Oliver stalk each other across the stage looking more like lovers than band members. The lights pulse in time with the music and final track ‘Infinity’ is amazing. The second veil that I mentioned earlier was now rising steadily and as the crescendo of the song hit the crowd it was obvious that there was a giant X behind it which lights up adding to the already impressive stage show.
The trio leave the stage and return shortly after a three song encore which included Intro, Tides and Stars. The encore did not match the tempo of the rest of the set and felt a little flat. Nonetheless it was a great night and I am very envious of anyone that is going to the second show tonight! I managed to get my hands on the set-list from the stage after the gig which made my night.
For more on up and coming producer Mmoths have a look here.
For more on The Xx have a look at their website.