Saturday September 2nd – APK Live, London ON
There’s been a buzz around the indie music community lately about San Jose indie band, XIU XIU (Pronounced “Shoe Shoe”). I had the opportunity and privledge to take in 1 of 2 of their only two shows in Canada this past weekend as they just started their world tour a week earlier. Opening up for XIU XIU was indie pop/electro band that is getting attention, Phèdre – A band who I was genuinely excited to see since two of the members are from another band I adore, Hooded Fang. Add in Airick Woodhead (from Doldrums) and you have one pretty unique band. London’s own New Zebra Kid was the first performance of the night for me (as I didn’t take in Quinn Read Baxter’s solo performance earlier in the evening). I have seen New Zebra Kid before and was excited to what they’d bring this time.
New Zebra Kid (London ON)
New Zebra Kid is a 2-piece band featuring London Local, Aaron Simmons (formerly of A Horse And His Boy). This was my second time taking in his performance, but my first time with band member, Quinn Read Baxter (2nd keyboard). Aaron projected his emotion-filled vocals which carried his body into an interestingly distorted and danceable beats to the already packed bar. Without a doubt, New Zebra Kid is one of London Ontario’s Best Bands – One you need to see!
Download 2 free tracks from New Zebra Kid’s Bandcamp.
If you’re a fan of New Zebra Kid you should check out similar artist, John Maus (keyboardist of Panda Bear & Ariel Pink).
Phèdre (Toronto ON)
Like I mentioned above I already adore Hooded Fang so I had pretty lofty expectations for the Phèdre’s performance. Is that fair? Probably not, but I’m happy to report back that they absolutely came through much to the delight of everyone in the house which was illustrated nicely by the amount of dancing that was going on. Masks, gypsy like clothes and random happenings like blowing up balloons aside this band killed it on-stage.
XIU XIU (San Jose CA)
I admit that I didn’t know a lot about XIU XIU going into the show, but I wanted to see what they were all about. It was a good thing I got to the front of the stage when I did as things XIU XIU was setting up, because the crowd quickly became tightly packed. So the stage was set with instruments, gadgets everywhere surrounding one lonely chair. The chair that front man, Jamie Stewart sat down upon, ready to begin.
Right away the power of Jamie’s voice and the detail in his lyrics hushed the crowd (one of the largest APK Crowds I’ve seen). His music was haunting, but poetic. It was easy to tell that he captured the audience and it showed with their roaring of applause after each song played. It was an intimate experience throughout the performance. I came away really appreciative of the fine details an incredible on-stage visionary such as XIU XIU can create.
Watch XIU XIU’s New Video for song, “Born To Suffer”: