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Coachella Week: The xx equals makeout music on stage

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After a rain-shortened show at Cosmo in October, The xx happily returned to Las Vegas on April 16.
Photo: Erik Kabik/erikkabik.com

Five observations from The xx show in Las Vegas on April 16:

1. As I walk into The Joint at the Hard Rock the preshow music is Jamie Smith’s remix of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep.” That’s the first version of the song I ever heard, and it’s still the one I like best. It reminds me of a certain place at a certain time and sets the right mood for what would be a solid night.

2. For the main show Jamie is on a platform above Oliver and Romy, who together make up The xx. Romy’s dress is patterned to create an X across her chest, giving her dark look the feel of an X-Men villain. Oliver’s right arm at a 45-degree angle combined with a limp wrist makes him look like a praying mantis plucking the bass. The untucked tail of his shirt and inhuman gait around the wide open stage both enhance this image.

3. Oliver announces, “We’re so happy to be back,” in reference to the band’s rain-shortened set at the Boulevard Pool in October. The third song is “Crystallized,” and the crowd starts to respond, or at least as much as they will most of the night.

4. Makeout music on stage. That’s the basic truth about The xx and it’s why people can never get too into the show. The big moments call not for joyous exultation but lustful embraces with another, of which there are plenty among the crowded floor.

5. A woman named Amanda, who refers to me as "Tall F*ck," drunkenly flirts during the encore break. I smile back. The xx comes back with “Intro,” and “Angels,” two of my favorites and crowd pleasers both. Oliver and Romy walk off the stage holding hands. I walk out with mine in my pockets.

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