Throwback Thursday


Around this time last year–a frigidly cold Friday night in Tokyo–I saw Jamie xx spin discs and work his magic in front of my eyes. I often look back at this night as one of those “moments” that I did something for myself and slightly changed for the better.

I asked my friends around to go with me, but alas, none of them were available. The friend groupie culture in Japan is too real, to the point where you start getting anxious and a little insecure when passersby, let alone strangers, walk past you eating lunch by yourself. This made me even more nervous to go to this concert by myself, but I thought, well when will I have the chance to see Jamie xx again?

Despite an encounter with a person who turned out to be creepy as hell, I set my insecurities (and that person) aside and let the electronic music take me through the night. Side-stepping and bobbing my head to the rhythm, I looked around and saw others around me simply feeling the music, lost in their own worlds.

As if nothing mattered except the present moment.

In the middle of all the dancing and jamming, a hipster guy with thick-rimmed glasses near me was really digging the music.. I could tell with the way he moved his body with more energy than the people around him. We looked at each other and kinda started dancing in sync with our hips shaking and arms flailing.

I don’t remember much of our small talks,
but I do remember the two of us feeling the music on the same wavelength,
smiling from cheek to cheek..
jumping up and down
holding hands

And then Jamie xx finally stepped up to the stage around 2:00 am or so. With the cylindrical lights flickering in certain patterns complementing the melody so smoothly, I was in awe. As someone who started listening to The xx since the beginning of college, I suddenly got excited when my ears picked up on the  bass line of “Sunset” during a transition in between songs. Nothing compares to the part when you love a song so much that you sing along with the vocals..

Some time after his set ended, I dragged my sore feet to the train station at around 4:30 am, waiting for the first train of the day to take me home. As the night progressed and I observed the wild surroundings, I was enjoying myself.

Not having to wait on a friend (or have a friend wait on you), not having to deal with keeping all members of the group together by the end of the night… I was free of such obligations. As much as I love and care about my friends, this night got me appreciating doing things on my own.

Miraculously I found a seat amid the night owls of Tokyo scrambling for a cushion spot to rest their tired livers and bodies. Drunken salarymen, fellow concertgoers, people who missed their last trains several hours earlier — we’re all on the same train. I may have pushed my body and feet over my pain tolerance, I may have survived the cold weather, but seeing and feeling the live music of Jamie xx made those temporary pains all worthwhile.


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