Since LA Seitz of Chicago does it on his blog and then I read on the Athletics Nation about a John Cleese performance, tonight you get a live band review. I said Fuck It, I can stay home and write about Angel #12 or I can take Mrs. Halofan and go see X at the House of Blues on the Sunset Strip.
Your loss was my gain. I don't know what show was on television tonight, but the freeways were empty at 8:30 pm. we made it to the HOB in 25 minutes from Lincoln Heights. Had time for a good HOB dinner (basically it is a decorated Dennys), and of course, watch plenty of highlights from The Blues Brothers prior to the show.
Like their debut album, X opened their 90 minute set with Your Phone's off the Hook (but you're Not). They (very wisely) only played songs from their first four albums and played almost every track of Los Angeles. Exene looks healthier and happier than she ever did back in the day. My girlfriend was gushing about John Doe's good looks. DJ Bonebrake was the least changed, physical appearance-wise (save for the shaved head belying a hint of silver) and was of course great as always. The only thing different about Billy Zoom was he doesn't wear a silver jacket anymore and his hairline has receded. He still smiles at individual audience members and is a master of making a Chuck Berry riff ring epic like opera.
Seeing as I saw X perform many times during the Jimmy Carter administration, the teleporting to nostalgiaville effect that their show had on me prohibits an objective review, but the band was tight, they have maintained the same sound, they sing a little free form on some of the songs but stick close to home. White Girl is still a moving anti-romantic ode, Nausea rang like a hard hangover, Year One was energetic, I don't know if she hit every lyric, but I thought that they could add "CELLPHONES" to the song's list of things that didn't exist in Year 1.
When they did Sugarlight, I flashed back to dating this girl in Hokah, Minnesota in 1983 and her 5-year old sister listening to the record I gave my girlfriend and dancing around singing My arm is tired of waiting... he?s open throated. Hope the kid didn?t become Hokah?s first junkie. Yikes!
Their rousing chorus on New World - the lines: It was better before/before they voted for what's his name was a vindication for all of the punks who kept their lyrics wide open. It was sad to see Dead Kennedys become dated by political policy shifts obliviating the specific references of their lyrics.
Their encore was Comin' Over and World's a Mess (its in My Kiss) and their still awesome Doors cover, Soul Kitchen.
After the show, since we were on the guest list we got to go up to the House of Blues Lounge Foundation room, but that place was like -uh why are we here with the squares before I even finished my Pelegrino, but it beat waiting in the long line for the valet. A couple waiting for their car were talking about seeing Jerry Rice at the show. I was like, excuse me, Jerry Rice? At an X show?!?!?. And they were like YEAH! with an excited confusion too, but the guy quickly adds, I think he was here with his family for dinner, but he checked out the show... And I'm like, Dude, he would have made a killing in the frickin Pit!. I wish i had seen Jerry myself, but these folks were pretty pumped about having seen a living legend groovin' to the sound of a living legend quartet.