L.A. punk rock legends X once again put the ‘X’ in ‘Xmas’ as they ambled the WestCoast on their annual December jaunt. Digital Diversion caught up with the tour at Petaluma’s McNear’s Mystic Theater which, at about 500 capacity, is so intimate that the merch table had to be out front on the patio giving the crowd for the sold out show that lined up early the opportunity to snap up the limited edition show posters before the doors even opened at 7:30 pm.

The Blasters kicked off the entertainment at 8:30 with a rocking set that opened with their classic American Music which got the crowd out of their seats, onto the floor in front of the stage and moving. By the time their set ended, the house was packed, the drinks were flowing and the fans were primed and ready for the headliners.

Taking the stage at a smidgen before 10 pm, X wasted no time busting into Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not followed quickly by Sex and Dying in High Society. Any band that has been at it for over 35 years could easily have phoned it in … play the fan favorites and walk away 60 minutes later with cash in pocket. Not so X. Billy Zoom assumed his stance and smiled away without a hair out of place, Exene twirled away mid-stage, D.J. Bonebrake held it all down while John Doe played the crap out of that bass guitar  … sweat a-flowing down is face. That one-two punch of those first songs from their classic debut album set the tone for the night.

With a largely middle-aged crowd, things remained relatively controlled despite the cramped quarters up front. Things did take a turn during Los Angeles and later during Soul Kitchen when some enthusiastic concert-goers broke into a mini-pit resulting in a kerfuffle or two with the unwilling participants that were sucked into the melee.  The good news is that the incidents seemed to go unnoticed by the band which kept rolling through the classics as well as a rarity, The Have Nots, which appears to have taken the place of Johny Hit and Run Pauline in the hour and 20 minute set.

After Soul Kitchen, the band stepped off the stage which gave the crowd a chance to calm themselves down while they called for X’s return (no fooling this crowd).  Despite the fact that it said “acoustic” on the setlist and even though there was an acoustic guitar propped up by Doe’s cabinet, X opted to wrap up the night with the bass plugged in and the volume turned up loud … White Girl the clear highlight of the night.

Supporting act: The Blasters


  • Your Phone’s Off The Hook, But You’re Not
  • Sex and Dying in High Society
  • Breathless
  • The Have Nots
  • The Once Over Twice
  • In This House That I Call Home
  • We’re Desperate
  • Los Angeles
  • The Unheard Music
  • The World’s A Mess; It’s In My Kiss
  • The Hungry Wolf
  • Year 1
  • It’s Who You Know
  • I’m Coming Over
  • The New World
  • Beyond and Back
  • Nausea
  • Sugarlight
  • Motel Room In My Bed
  • Soul Kitchen


  • Some Other Time
  • White Girl
  • Because I Do
  • Devil Doll

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