Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Music Box: X

It was nearly two weeks ago, but I would be remiss not to mention just how fantastic the X show was at the 9:30 Club in Washington. From the opening chords of "In This House That I Call Home" to the final drum beat of "Because I Do," with my eyes closed I would have been hard-pressed to tell the difference between this show and the one other time I saw them -- at the Devil House in Tempe, Arizona, when they were promoting "More Fun in the New World" back in 1983. While they may look a little worse for the wear -- I think three of them are in their 50s and Billy Zoon is in his 60s! -- the sound was vintage X, led by Billy Zoom's trademark rockabilly guitar, and the plaintive harmonies of John Doe and Exene Cervenka -- the Stevie and Lindsey of punk rock. Unbeknownst to my brother Bill and me, the set list was decided by fans through an online poll. While we were bummed that we'd been victims of voter suppression, when all was said and done we both had to admit that the electorate had done us right. I could have gone home happy with just "Blue Spark" played over and over all night. And Bill had thought he was the only one who lived and died by "The Have Nots" (notice both songs are off "Under the Big Black Sun," which was our first X album, a review copy Bill brought home from his summer job at The Phoenix Gazette in 1982).

  The show happened the same week we got word that Exene was suffering from multiple sclerosis. The diagnosis was not mentioned that night, but if her performance was any indication -- and they rocked A LONG TIME -- she's still in fine shape. I won't be waiting another 26 years to see X again, on that you can be sure.


 An incomplete set list (sorry): 
"In This House That I Call Home" 
"We're Desperate" 
"Adult Books" 
"Under the Big Black Sun" 
"We're Having Much More Fun" 
"Sex and Dying in High Society" 
"Burning House of Love" 
"Some Other Time" 
"The Have Nots" 
"Universal Corner" 
"The World's a Mess (It's in My Kiss)" 
"Riding With Mary" 
"Johnny Hit and Run Pauline" 
"Los Angeles" 
"How I (Learned My Lesson)" 
"Motel Room in My Head" 
"Devil Doll" 
"Your Phone's Off the Hook (But You're Not)" 
"Blue Spark" 
"The New World" 
\"Hungry Wolf" 
"I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts" (acoustic) 
"White Girl" 
"Because I Do"
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