X wrapped up their annual December west coast jaunt in San Francisco with two nights at the Fillmore with the Blasters in tow. Mixing things up from prior years, X turned things down a notch and delivered their 90 minute set through hollow-bodied guitars (i.e. plugged in, but toned down). While it was certainly odd to see Billy Zoom swapping out his trademark stance for a stool, the addition of a fifth band member made for some moments that one wouldn’t otherwise see. When was the last time you saw Billy on sax or D.J. Bonebrake on the vibes? That alone was worth the price of admission. Add to that rarities such as Dancing With Tears in My Eyes and Come Back to Me and you had yourself one of the can’t-miss shows of the year.
While Exene may have come across a little more surly than normal, her mood certainly didn’t interfere with those two-part harmonies for which she and John Doe are so perfectly matched. In fact, the cleaner versions of the tunes actually highlighted the vocal pairing. For his part, John Doe was his usual energetic self … decked in what appeared to be a brown suede suit, he didn’t let even flung beer dampen the mood as he blasted through the set on a vintage Kay bass guitar.
The crowd was there for the Friday night party and, while the bar appeared virtually empty throughout both the Blasters’ and X’s sets, the drinks were clearly flowing. By the time X played Los Angeles, it was clear that a few acoustic guitars weren’t going to contain the fans any longer and the floor in front of the stage became a mess of sloshing drinks, pumping arms and pogoing 40-somethings through The New World and Year 1, only slightly waning for a mesmerizing version of White Girl.
When the band stepped off stage for a short break, no one budged. Not a single “let’s beat the rush out the door” person. Not one. And when X didn’t return immediately, the crowd broke into an impatient chant that only calmed when Doe walked back on the stage with a smile and a wave for a three song encore that whipped things into one final fervor with Devil Doll. The only songs glaringly omitted from the night were Johnny Hit and Run Pauline and Burning House of Love which were certainly saved for the Saturday night follow-up.
- Beyond and Back
- In This House That I Call Home
- Dancing With Tears in My Eyes
- Poor Girl
- The Once Over Twice
- The Have Nots
- Drunk in My Past
- Come Back to Me
- We’re Having Much More Fun
- True Love
- The Hungry Wolf
- The World’s A Mess, It’s in My Kiss
- Blue Spark
- The Unheard Music
- Los Angeles
- The New World
- Year 1
- White Girl
- I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts
- Adult Books
- How I (Learned My Lesson)
- Devil Doll
Supporting act: The Blasters
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