Live Review: Xiu Xiu

Where: Middle East Downstairs – Cambridge, MA
When: May 5, 2012

Upon my fifth live inception of Xiu Xiu, I expected a sold-out crowd for such amazing and intense performers. What I got was a densely populated audience all solely focused on not just the headliners, but on the eclectic palette of talent that rounded out the bill—including Dirty Beaches and the incomparable and stark Father Murphy. Xiu Xiu frontman Jamie Stewart was just as stoic as ever, as he passionately graced his way through a set bursting with songs from their latest album Always – like “Smear the Queen,” “Hi,” and “Honeysuckle.” Of course, older tunes reared their head throughout the evening like “Fabulous Muscles,” “The Fox and the Rabbit,” “Sad Pony Guerilla Girl, and of course, “ I Luv The Valley.”

After the show, Stewart made himself more than available for fans who wanted to take pictures and to chat about the performance. As a Xiu Xiu enthusiast gushed to Stewart about how wonderful he is while simultaneously kissing his hand, Stewart had no problem graciously returning the favor. I’ve been a Xiu Xiu fan for years, and what leaves insatiable when it comes to seeing them live is Stewart’s sheer ardor for his craft and its execution, regardless of the venue or the number of people watching. The result: me awaiting my sixth Xiu Xiu with acute agony.

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