[i promised a report. well, my friend M wrote it up first so i'm mostly going to borrow from him and will throw in a comment or two in brackets. he also took the above video and if you click over to the youtube page it is on you'll find more.
"Orgasmic Intensity: Xiu Xiu Live in Berlin (05/02/08)
"Magnet club is a good venue for concerts, just make sure you arrive early and are in the front rows. The concert hall is long and narrow with a rather low stage; if you’re not in the front, you’ll be staring at many heads. It was still early when I got there, and Jamie Stewart was actually sitting behind a table selling his CDs and T-shirts. He was talking with a woman who was buying a CD, but Jamie kept giving her money back while the woman also kept refusing the money. I heard him saying 'I made this CD because of you' or something like that. It was probably not the best time to intrude, I thought to myself, and kept a distance and waited for my turn. However, the woman grabbed herself a chair, sat herself down and the two were engaged in a conversation. More people came. Should I perhaps go and buy a CD so I can chat with him a little? Somehow Knowing he was aware of me watching him and the woman the whole time suddenly made me feel embarrassed.
"There were two opening acts that night. Petula opened the show with his breathy voice along with an electric guitar and a loop petal. The instrumentation was sparing yet effective. The sound was intriguing and did make me want to pay attention to what he was singing, which, unfortunately, I couldn’t make out. Chris Garneau was next, whose voice sounded like the male version of a much more subdued and babyish Martha Wainwright. Except for the dramatic and powerful opener, it was all very innocent and sweet: him playing keyboard and crooning about babies, friendship and sunset, mostly in a major key. It’s not the music was bad or anything, but really, over fifteen minutes of sweetness can become cloying and, well, quite dull."
[i like chris and my own take was that he was done a disservice by being sandwiched in-between petula and xiu xiu. the first act was too similar to chris (though not quite as good) and so it made chris' short set feel longer. and of course it felt extremely single leveled when placed next to the brilliant roller coaster of sound that xiu xiu is capable of]
"The last time I saw Xiu Xiu, it was just Jamie Stewart and Caralee McElroy; this time they brought a drummer and another bassist (which I could barely see from where I stood). I knew it was going to be loud, but what I didn’t expect was the ferocity. Jamie Stewart, as always, stole the show: whether his drum sticks were flying between drums, cymbals and gongs or his fingers were plucking away on his electric guitar with controlled precision and frantic abandon; whether he was bawling at the top of his lungs or whispering to no one but himself, his eyes were always closed. It was about concentration rather than entertaining the crowd. It was about giving all you’ve got than putting on a show. It was as if he was baring himself completely naked with his narrative that the only way he could do it was to close his eyes and shut everyone off. And yet it was impossible to take your eyes off him. Intense is the word everyone loves to use to describe Xiu Xiu’s gig, and Jamie Stewart is every bit of ferocious, orgasmic intensity. When the band exited, the crowd enthusiastically clapped and yelled, hoping for an encore. But Xiu Xiu don’t do encores. Nor can I imagine they do. After all, can a second immediate orgasm be as good as the first one?"
[it really was a great show, and almost shocking how intimate the space is. from where M and i stood i could the print on the brass clip on jamie's guitar strap. FIST it said, which seemed perfect: hard core and loving all at once. the girl just in front of us had driven from poland--without her parents permission. you can see her bouncing in the video. she went up on stage as they were breaking down their instruments and got a hug and kiss from jamie. i could see M wanted to get up there too, but shyness held him back until the band came down from the stage and into the general hall.]