The xx played their final New York show for the foreseeable future on Saturday at the United Palace theater in Harlem.
Here’s the thing about being a minimalist: if you make a mistake, everyone notices. If you keep your apartment spartan and uncluttered, a coffee cup you forgot to wash from the morning and left out in front of the couch suddenly makes the whole place look like a wasteland. On the other hand, if your place is kinda messy with two or three sweatshirts draped about and a month’s worth of mail scattered everywhere, that same dirty coffee cup suddenly becomes pretty much invisible.
It’s the same with music. There’s no such thing as a “wrong note” at a Sonic Youth show—there’s just too much noise to notice.
The xx played their last show in New York for the foreseeable future on Saturday at the United Palace Theater in Harlem with newcomers Warpaint opening. As bassist/ singer Oliver Sim said, thanking the crowd, “I can’t tell you how surreal it is to go from the Mercury Lounge to this.”
The xx are the definitive musical minimalists of the decade, and as was evident at their show on Saturday, in the last two years of touring they have become a tightened and well-oiled machine, with impressive precision.
In a full hour of playing in near darkness, I counted only one minor flub from the guitar of singer Romy Madley Croft—a near perfect performance that showed that despite their age and quick ascent to fame, the band has all the talent they need to back up that Mercury Prize and sustain a long, productive career.
The next time The xx plays New York it’ll likely be in support of a new album—let’s hope they’re able to keep cranking out the minimal, infectious songs that won us all over the first time around.