Dallas Deliberately or not, the xx immediately defined the prevailing mood inside the Granada Theater Wednesday night.
The overwhelming affection for the British dream-pop trio, displayed by the first of two sold-out audiences the xx will entertain (the band's second show is tonight), was captured in the set opener Angels, which hinges on the repeated line "Being as in love with you as I am."
There's plenty of wistful longing there, but to hear it sung back to Romy Madley Croft, Oliver Sim and Jamie Smith, all of whom seemed genuinely touched by the warm welcome, sharpened the sentiment.
From the moment the three musicians stepped onto the dimly lighted stage, the crowd was hollering with the sort of energy reserved for artists with Top 40 smashes. More likely, the reaction stemmed from people who've spent long, lonely hours, obsessively listening to the xx's pair of albums, the eponymous 2009 debut and last year's Coexist.
The group makes sleek, moody, introspective music that's deftly turned outward in concert; the xx isn't afraid to rework its songs to better fit a live setting, and many of Wednesday's highlights were re-tooled favorites, like Crystalised.
Echo-laden guitar lines and thick percussion sliced through the murk, and a dazzling light show punctuated the rapturous darkness. The xx kept the 75-minute set humming, often bleeding one song into another to create a warm wall of sound. The cumulative effect was that of a show in a much, much smaller space than the Granada, but it's a testament to the band's skill that such a feeling of intense intimacy was conjured amid a crowd of 1,000.
Love was all around Wednesday -- some of it bruised, some of it ecstatic -- which, come to think of it, is quite appropriate on the eve of Valentine's Day.