Jamie xx Bollywood Stage, Toronto Island ON, June 12

Jamie xx Bollywood Stage, Toronto Island ON, June 12
Photo: Rick Clifford

Why Jamie xx — a bona fide man of the moment — was playing one of Bestival's smallest stages, at four in the afternoon, is a complete mystery. He seemed like the perfect fit for a nighttime show at the Big Top stage, or perhaps even the Main Stage, if it weren't reserved for full bands. Yes, the stage was tiny and the weather was far from desirable, but once the first notes of "I Know (There's Gonna Be Good Times)" rang across the field, all external factors evaporated into the oncoming clouds. With such a beginning, it seemed as though Jamie xx was gearing up to run through his latest album, In Colour, but instead he took an altogether funkier route than anticipated. 

A look at the Bestival schedule would lead you to believe that Jamie xx was performing live, as some acts had the word DJ printed next to them, whereas Jamie's did not, but it quickly became evident that his set — along with everyone else's at the Bollywood — was all turntables. Nobody seemed to care though, as Jamie rolled out the best of afrobeat, funk, soul and thoroughly danceable Caribbean flair. After a while, this slowly morphed into jazzy house, which offered Jamie the perfect avenue into the beautiful "Sleep Sound." 

From there on, it was all dark and brooding, with a quick pick-me-up on "Gosh" before finally returning the crowd-pleasing funk that made the first half of his set so enjoyable. Jamie xx's Bestival performance was about as eclectic as you'd expect from a man of his stature. It was compelling view into the past and present of one of this year's top producers.