Even though The xx has shot to fame since the released of the critically-acclaimed debut album “xx” in 2009, it took them close to a decade to finally perform in Jakarta. Needless to say, their first ever performance in Indonesia was met with feverish anticipation from long-time and newly found fans alike. Not even the 6.4 magnitude earthquake that shook Jakarta earlier in the day could have dampened the mood.
Organised by Ismaya Live and held in Jakarta International Expo (JIExpo), the crowds, who had braved through the wet weather, was warmed up by local acts, Kimokal and Elephant Kind. But if the crowd seemed a little sluggish at this point, it’s because they’re conserving their energy for the main act.
The three-piece band that consists of Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, better know for his stage name Jamie xx, casually strolled onto the stage and kicked off the night with “Intro”, the instrumental opening song from their debut album, to a thunderous reaction from the crowds. A fitting choice, given that most of the setlist was made up with songs from the album xx. It’s no surprise that fans knew the lyrics like the back of theirs hands to songs like “Crystalised”, “VCR”, “Heart Skipped a Beat” and “Islands”.
Apart from famous singles such as “Fiction”, “Dangerous” and “On Hold”, The xx also managed to squeeze in a brief live remix from Jamie as well as “Loud Places”, a single from his solo debut album “In Colour” that featured vocals from Romy.
Interestingly, for a band who described themselves as introverts and was called as the shyest band in England early in the day, they seemed to be very sure-footed and radiated self-assurance. Safe for Jamie who didn’t utter a single word, Oliver interacted, sometimes cheekily, with the crowd during and in between songs while Romy gave a heartfelt thanks to the crowd for the warm welcome as well as apology that “it’s taken them so long” to be here in the most endearing manner.
Even after the trio has long disappeared into backstage, the crowd continued to linger. And it was rewarded with the crew handing out a handful of the night’s setlists to the ecstatic fans. For The xx, it was no doubt a splendid welcome for their first time in Indonesia. And for the audience, especially the fans, a fine highlight for 2018.