X by Rocio Flores

Live Review and Photos: X at the Casbah, December 11, 2014

X by Rocio Flores
Photos by Rocio Flores

A sold-out Casbah crowd could have expected almost anything from X last week — and X delivered.

When X took the stage, Billy Zoom came first, then John Doe, followed by Exene Cervenka and DJ Bonebrake, showing signs of a good mood and that time never passes in vain. Exene was carrying a six pack of Tecate beer and a little ambivalent but determined attitude.

It is indisputable that X is a band with a long musical history, and from the moment they struck the evening’s first chords, it was clear that they’d brought their experience with them.

The setlist for the night — as John Doe clarified to attendees — was different from what they were accustomed to playing. According to Doe, the band wanted to do a “less noisy” tour, which was perfectly fine for a chilly night in San Diego.

The band played “In This House That I call Home” and “Beyond and Back,” along with many other classics. Exene is a fine poet — elegantly exposed in her lyrics — but at the Casbah, her ragged appearance was a stark contrast to Doe’s professional attire (including glossy cowboy boots).

While the band played an enjoyable set, songs like “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not,” “Nausea,” “Breathless,” “Johnny Hit and Run Paulene,” and “Soul Kitchen,” were conspicuously missing. These are road songs that I love to listen to while driving my car through the Mexican desert, and it would’ve been great to hear them.

The amazing thing is that X have been together for over thirty years, with ups and downs, and we were privileged enough to see the original lineup. X may have defied expectations, but their presence alone was enough to please fans to the fullest.

Photos: X at the Casbah

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