The xx: minimal, intimate, and up-close. I wondered how they would translate their sound—seemingly suited for an underground club or intimate bar—to Roskilde Festival’s biggest stage and the open air. Spoiler alert: They fared quite well.
The London-based trio comprised of Romy Madley Croft, James Thomas Smith, and Oliver Sim took to the stage and stayed true to form powering out their songs yet maintaining their characteristic, whispery quality occasionally uplifted by danceable beats. However, even more exceptional than this, the band was able to translate the intimacy of their sound to their relationship with the audience. In between songs, they praised the audience, introduced songs with stories of heartbreak, and genuinely seemed happy and grateful for being there.
“If someone had told me that when I was sixteen years old at this beautiful festival for the first time I would stand on this stage one day, I would never have believed them,” Romy said in one of many moments that connected her and the rest of the band to the audience.
The xx, the open air and the light drizzle of the rain were all a match made in heaven. The band took advantage of their live forum not only filling the open air with their catchy-tunes but injecting their personality into and throughout the performance. They were able to appeal to everyone from the sensitive soul to the party-minded masterfully flowing between vulnerability and a club atmosphere in a beautifully welcome paradox. Ending with “Angels,” the line “I’m still in love with you” lingered in the air warmly embracing the audience one final time and sending them off to enjoy the remainder of the festival with this symbolic hug.