Here’s a recent story I wrote when I saw Jamie XX live in Oakland a few months ago. The ultimate Jamie XX experience.
Jamie Smith, also known by his stage name, Jamie XX, made his way down the Fox Theater in Oakland for his first solo debut album tour on the 9th of October. Hailing from the United Kingdom, many would recognize him as one third of the UK Indie band, The XX while juggling a solo career in producing and DJing, At the age of 26, Jamie sure knows how to differentiate himself away from the band as a keyboard player/producer. He collaborated with artists Drake, Alicia Keys, Florence + The Machine and Radiohead and scored a ballet for the Manchester International Festival. Jamie began DJing at the age of 15 playing only jazz and soul until he discovered his appreciation for house music after attending a legendary dubstep night at East London.
Releasing his first solo album “In Colour” was what he liked to represent as his compilation of work over the last seven years touring with the XX and DJing all over the world. He grew up surrounded with a passion for dance music when his uncle taught him how to mix two records on a pair of turntables at the age of ten. Once his US tour was announced in Oakland, it was a definite hell yes for me. He absolutely showed us the ultimate dance experience that night. This is a man without words. A mystery. He walked on stage without saying anything except a smile on his face and a wave to the crowd. His crisp white button up shirt is his trademark. A silhouette was all we could make out of him under the cloud of smoke surrounding the turntables. His staple disco ball hung behind him as it gleamed into the crowd.
Jamie seemed to be enjoying himself on stage as he swayed left to right as his hair bobbled up and down. During his two-hour set was what he gave to his fans. From house music, to disco, garage, tropical house, techno and reggae, this man gave it all. He showed us his skills in mixing all of these genres together in one night to display this unforgettable experience. As he pleased us with the gorgeous display of colors, the rainbow colored lights shun during the last hour of his set as his single, “Gosh” came on. The crowd went wild and would not stop cheering for him. For those who followed his musical journey, Jamie played every single song from his solo album, including tracks that he remixed for the band. He then ended his two-hour set with the single, “Loud Places”, which features his band mate, Romy Madley Croft.
The disco ball reflected and illuminated the theater in sequence with the music. Once the show ended, the whole theater applauded him for the mind-blowing show he gave. Jamie sets his headphones down, drank a sip of beer, waved goodbye to the crowd and left the stage as the whole theater dimmed dark. Everyone started to leave the theater one by one and knew it was time to head back to reality.