Activity Digs Xiu Xiu: Travis Johnson of Brooklyn-based group Activity told us about his Xiu Xiu experience.
Travis Johnson: The best show I’ve seen happened just a few months ago: Xiu Xiu at Le Poisson Rouge in New York. There was nothing particularly rare or grand about it. It was just “a show.” But it was very special to me.
Xiu Xiu was the sound of college and my early 20s, Jamie Stewart’s voice would often be stuck in my head all day, working whatever odd temp job, and I hadn’t seen them play live since then. They occupied the same space for my wife, so she got tickets. Neither of us were in our early 20s anymore and so to a large extent Xiu Xiu was a nostalgic thing for us (even though I still listened to and enjoyed the newer releases). All this to say, I didn’t expect to be as blown away by the show as I was.
There was nostalgia, and it was wonderful, for sure. I loved seeing people embracing during “Fabulous Muscles,” or hearing everyone cheer at the kick pattern announcing “Apistat Commander” was upon us. But the new songs. “Rumpus Room” was the highlight of the night and it came out like 20 years into the band’s existence. No band has any business being this good for this long. As a musician, it was everything I wanted, the old and the new, the nostalgia and the constant press forward. And of course, Jamie’s voice. I love that voice.
Activity Digs Xiu Xiu: Activity‘s Spirit in the Room album is out now.
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