X the Band
April 3, 2015
Marquis Theater, Denver, CO
“X is that band you always wanted to be as cool as but never could be”. I remember reading that quote (not exactly verbatim) years back upon buying “X - Live in Los Angeles”. It basically sums up their place in punk rock to me. Their music spans from straight forward punk rock to somewhere more into an alternative country and rockabilly. Their 1980 debut album Los Angeles is considered a punk classic, and rightfully so. It has clever lyrics disdainful of the culture in Los Angeles, ripping into the apparent fakeness of the city. It’s also just catchy as hell with Billy Zoom’s simple but powerful guitar riffs John Doe and Exene’s voices complementing each other well. Having never been to Los Angeles, I hold this as my view of L.A. until I actually get to visit.
X decided to play 2 nights in Denver, so it was fun to see a large crowd there the night I went; I didn’t know they had the fan base to sell 2 nights. They played, to my delight, “World’s a Mess; It’s In My Kiss” which is the song I usually show people to try and get them into X. The mood of the crowd, similar to myself, seemed to be their primarily to see songs off of Los Angeles. I always appreciate seeing a band live that seems to be having fun up there rather than going through the motions. That’s how I felt about seeing X. They have been doing this for a while, and besides a decade departure of Billy Zoom have been basically the same band since 1979.
They closed with one of my favorite songs, “Devil Doll” which I first heard on their live album. Overall, they unfortunately played a lot of their later stuff which while still impressive does not have the same energy as their debut release. The show was interesting and at times moved into more of a country and at times jazz sound. Seeing them live does showcase their wide-ranging musical tastes and highlights their musicianship. It was a fun show and I would recommend checking them out. X is just an interesting band that had held the test of time in punk and is just, well, a cool band.
Article By: Christopher Beliveau