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X: live in Agoura Hillslive in Agoura Hills (2005)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:


Contributed by: BrandonSideleauBrandonSideleau
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wow, now this band knows how to play! That should come as no surprise, since they've been in existence for more than a quarter century, but it was a blast to witness nonetheless. I had been to the Canyon Club twice before (once for Bad Religion and once for Dave Chappelle) and I've always found it t.


Wow, now this band knows how to play! That should come as no surprise, since they've been in existence for more than a quarter century, but it was a blast to witness nonetheless. I had been to the Canyon Club twice before (once for Bad Religion and once for Dave Chappelle) and I've always found it to be a pleasant yet slightly awkward venue. It's nice, small and has a great sound system...but it's located in the heart of suburbia. When I arrived at 7:30pm (for the 9pm show) I was startled and I thought I had come the wrong night; the place was packed with "40+ aged" people and they were all sitting and eating quietly; there was absolutely NO security or barrier, and the dance floor was empty. I had expected to see at least "some" 20-somethings, but instead at that moment I had to be the youngest guy there. So, I waited around and gradually people (of all ages) began to arrive, so I decided to stake out a spot sitting literally at Exene's feet. What a varied crowd; to my left were a bunch of high school girls and to my right was a 47-year-old man with some interesting stories about X's heyday.

Shortly after 9pm, X took the stage and I must say, for a bunch of guys/girl who must be close to or over 50, they hit it pretty fucking hard; harder than almost any band half their age. John Doe is a wild man, chaotically thrashing around stage while still managing to play his bass perfectly; his stage precense reminded me of Greg Ginn (yes, I know Greg plays guitar). Billy Zoom was, as always, solemn and quiet, yet a true old-school master of the guitar; his playing is phenomenal yet he rarely moves an inch; it's incredible to witness. Drummer Bonebrake hit every beat viciously and got the job done, while everyone's fave Exene was the same as you might have seen in the movie "Decline Of Western Civilization," switching between singing and yelling while sounding great the whole time.

They opened the set with "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline" and the place went absolutely nuts; the opening by Billy Zoom never fails to send an audience into fits. They went on to play (beautifully might I add) such other classics as "Los Angeles" (which, I believe, is a story about how urban alienation can lead to xenophobia), "Beyond & Back," "We're Desperate," and "Nausea," among many others. The whole, while having a good time, I couldn't help but feel like a roadie since I constantly was trying to fix the front speakers, which kept getting knocked around by the guys moshing further back. Exene said she wanted them facing her, so every few minutes I'd have to readjust these things (with the help of a few others occasionally).

They closed out this sweaty, wild set with their classic hyperactive Doors cover "Soul Kitchen" and promptly left the stage with John saying "we'll be back REALLY soon," which obviously meant "encore," so I remained. They came back out and proceeded to play 5 songs and 2 encores!

I left the show amazed at just how tight and energetic this band was. I arrived slightly worried that they wouldn't be able to capture the energy of their early days, but left content that they not only did, but may have even surpassed it! If X comes anywhere near your town you'd be doing yourself a great disservice if you pass them up.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Anonymous (July 30, 2006)

oh hell yes im going to this show tonight at the canyon club fuck yeah

Anonymous (July 23, 2005)

Can we please get back to talking about how fuckin' great X is as a band? They are the seminal non-hardcore punk band from LA. I think it was Eric Davidson from the New Bomb Turks that said they were the only band from LA that mattered. Not that that is what Im sayin'.

inagreendase (July 21, 2005)

Why rip apart tiny bands and labels...?

Because they send the CDs to us for a review, and they know full well that getting ripped apart is a possibility. It's that simple, basically.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

Hey, This is for the poster asking about "Johnny Hit and Run Pauline". The statement that your thinking of came from "The History Of Rock n Roll" PBS production. John Doe said the band did stop playing that song because they were uncomfortable with the way the audience was reacting to it. They started to feel the crowds were just showing up to punk shows for violence not for music.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

Brandon,

I appologize for accusing you of ageism. You apparently have more troubles than me bagging on you. Sorry, I am just old and feeling sorry for myself.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

BSD you sound like an asshole with a huge ego and leave the impression of a condescending prick. Just to let you know. Now kill youself, for fuck's sake.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

ah BSD thinks he's people

sickboi (July 21, 2005)

I love lamp.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

to all the fucking "reviewers" and "staff members" :

shut the fuck up and get a life.

Anonymous (July 21, 2005)

As someone whose review selections resemble Brandon's the most, I think it's much more important to review good, yet obscure bands than merely obscure, yet unthreatening stuff.

I'm always down for real critiques, and I think a lot of the stuff covered on here deserves less than ones for being cliche garbage, but why not make the low scores reserved for bands that actually have fan bases? Throwdown, Terror, Bright Eyes, Cursive, even the All American Rejects have reviews that treat them as actual art, when their music is much worse in reality than the four guys in their garage who made a tape on their boom box.

I mean, come on, I enjoy your slaggings as much as the next guy, Jesse, but I don't really think the Pink Spiders were ever going to be thought of as a good band by anyone besides their hair stylist. On the other hand, word of mouth and reviews are how relatively ignorant people can learn about bands like the Consumers or the Offs or whoever.

These insult-based reviews against DIY, unknown bands are just kind of petty... Okay, we're all sure this sucks. But it's not like our friends are going to be bugging us about the new Why Not any time soon. So why not inform people of your interpretation of "the classics"? Why rip apart tiny bands and labels when you can just tell people about a quality band they might not know about?

-BSD

Jesse (July 20, 2005)

No, I don't own the site, but I'm a staff reviewer, and I recognize my duty as such. When I see a live show or a band I think is exemplary, I go out of my way to fit it into the schedule I have to review it and the records I was sent. I live a busy life too. I'll be taking 5 classes next semester, tutoring 3 students, and working at the record shop, but I'll still be writing reviews for the stuff that gets sent to me. If I don't think I'm not going to be able to write the review, then I don't ask Brian to send me more stuff.

Anonymous (July 20, 2005)

Kirby Puckett writes the worst reviews known to man. What a fucking douche bag.

inagreendase (July 20, 2005)

i'd take a good x or a black flag or a nausea review than than the 1 star emo pop trash that had no business being here anyways.

While I agree with Aubin that our site URL pretty much dictates coverage of the above and related, Jesse's right too as much as you want to bitch at him. "[insert well-respected band here]" wasn't asking for coverage on Punknews like the shitty nü-emo/metalcore band was, and thus, we have an obligation to cover them, even it's for a barely-noticed panning of a review that'll be on the front page for a week.

Anonymous (July 20, 2005)

If Punknews needs people to review shitty albums, they should send them my way.

-El V

aubin (July 20, 2005)

I'm only speaking for myself, but I'm glad Brandon takes the time to review material that interests him like this.

Stuff like classic SST material, Discharge, Nausea absolutely need to be mentioned and having Brandon cover that stuff makes sure that in the deluge of new material that comes out every week, we don't lose sight of the bands that shaped the genres we cover.

joeg (July 20, 2005)

the militant stance on what to review and what not to review is fucking retarded. jesse, this isn't your website. stop acting like you own it and feel the need to publically call people out on what you feel is and isn't appropriate. we need more "classic" punk reviews on this site and who better to do it than brandon. i'd take a good x or a black flag or a nausea review than than the 1 star emo pop trash that had no business being here anyways.

sickboi (July 20, 2005)

Both of you bitches need to shut up.

BrandonSideleau (July 20, 2005)

actually, jesse, it's not my job. I never said I'd review every piece of crap thrown my way. I said I'd pick through the pile and review what looked interesting. In all honesty, I don't have the time to sit and listen to 30 shitty records from beginning to end. I like reviewing and doing interviews for the site, but don't expect to see anything reviewed from that pile....as I no longer have it. If you dont want me as staff then fine, but just so you know my Danzig interview is going to be done this month.....so it's up to you.

Jesse (July 20, 2005)

"If something I hope to like really offends me then I'll give it a bad review....but I'm not gonna go and review something I know nothing about. I found nothing worth reviewing out of the pile of CDs I recieved so I'll stick to reviewing stuff from labels/bands that I like and trust. If they happen to release a bad record.....you'll know about it. But thankfully I'm usually more inclined to write about something I'm excited about, rather than something bumming me out. I don't see what the problem is, I don't only do "classic" punk reviews (most of my reviews are actually of underappreciated or a-typical albums from "classic" groups)."

Umm, it's kind of your job, buckaroo, to review what gets sent to you. All of it. Regardless of how shitty it is. That's why you were made staff. So you would review the albums sent to you. It doesn't matter how shitty it is, or how obscure it is, when you agreed to become staff you agreed to review those records.

I dig your reviews, but you need to get to that stack o' CDs and get reviewing, and if you don't wanna review them, then tell Brian and he can give your staff job to someone else and you can send me those CDs and I'll review them.

BrandonSideleau (July 20, 2005)

if you guys want a bad review from me, I'd review some shitty nu emo, emtalcore album or whatever....I really dont wanna spend my hard earned cash on that shit....or waste my time downloading it. I'd rather reccommend great records to people and promote great bands (old & new). If those bands that I like release a bad record, then I'll tell you.....but that doesn't happen often thankfully.

Anonymous (July 20, 2005)

"Brandon is not a reviewer. Reviewers are writers who have the ability to both praise and criticize. Brandon is sorely lacking in the latter. He's told me this. This is why he relies solely on classic punk / classic punk-influenced bands to write a review."

Maybe. But he's the best of the three/four reviewers on this site who write about music that has any depth beyond being "y-band inspired". Or maybe I like his stuff because it's about bands that actually care or cared about not being cliche, genre-fied, S-A-F-E trash.

-BSD

allison_le_gnome (July 20, 2005)

I have a slight grudge against X for being the only band there every time I looked for X-Ray Spex. I finally got Germfree Adolescents, though.

I really like Blatz's cover of "Nausea," almost as much as the original.

SoupIsGoodFood (July 19, 2005)

X are amazing, but I remember hearing in an interview somewhere that they didn't play Johnny Hit and Run Pauline live. What's up with that?

SkolarX (July 19, 2005)

this sucks, we get them next month but they are playing a knitters set. i'd much rather see x

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

To the guy below, for being such a shitty band otherwise, Goldfinger's live show was pretty fun when I saw it.

BrandonSideleau (July 19, 2005)

To the guy "accusing" me of "ageism". I didn't have a problem with it at all, in fact I thought it was really cool that X still had a fanbase from back in the day...it just surprised me given the fact that every other "old punk band" concert I've been to (IE- Circle Jerks) was full of people far younger than me. I just thought it was worth noting, you need to lighten up dude.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

What a nice review for a change. This is one of the few I've seen on punknews that didn't have some drawn out BS about how wonderful the jerkoffs of Goldfinger are or how Rancid is just the greatest bowl of pudding ever.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

My friend went to this show, said it was all right, not worth 30 dollars. Canyon Club and punk shows dont seem to go along well, last one I was at they sold too many tickets and the crowd was packed in so tight I could hardly breathe.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

What a "review." Your ageism is kinda annoying. Considering the members of X are about 50, I don't know why you cannot fathom that the venue was packed with old people. Not all of us traded in our old punk records for Kenny G CD's, dude.

BrandonSideleau (July 19, 2005)

If something I hope to like really offends me then I'll give it a bad review....but I'm not gonna go and review something I know nothing about. I found nothing worth reviewing out of the pile of CDs I recieved so I'll stick to reviewing stuff from labels/bands that I like and trust. If they happen to release a bad record.....you'll know about it. But thankfully I'm usually more inclined to write about something I'm excited about, rather than something bumming me out. I don't see what the problem is, I don't only do "classic" punk reviews (most of my reviews are actually of underappreciated or a-typical albums from "classic" groups).

inagreendase (July 19, 2005)

Brandon is one of the few reviewers worth his salt on this site.

Brandon is not a reviewer. Reviewers are writers who have the ability to both praise and criticize. Brandon is sorely lacking in the latter. He's told me this. This is why he relies solely on classic punk / classic punk-influenced bands to write a review.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

i would love to see X sometime. definitely one of the best out of the early 80's l.a. scene, just barely edging out the gun club.

rkl (July 19, 2005)

yeah, the knitters are pretty good. original sinners(exene's band that was on nitro a few years ago)arent band either.

score is for the timelessness of exene's vocals.

jamespastepunk (July 19, 2005)

A few years ago X came to Chicago for one night at the House of Blues. I was all excited, thinking that I'd get to see them. Unfortunatly it was 21 so I couldn't get in. I was crushed.

I remember that show. I thought "cool, I'll finally catch X." Then I found out it was 21 , and didn't think much of it.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

X, this band I love!!! This band is classic and beautiful!!! John Doe's solo album is good too!

gladimnotemo (July 19, 2005)

Perfect band.

Has anyone heard the Knitters? It's Doe, Cervenka, DJ Bonebrake, and two non-X members. I think it's....country?

And the new John Doe album is really great as well.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

Great review, duder. Proving once again who brings the goods to the punknews table.

Ramo

dazed (July 19, 2005)

Awesome, an X review! I really wanna see this band live.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

yea, totally dude, brandon keeps tihs site punx and fresh as always.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

Brandon is one of the few reviewers worth his salt on this site.

I saw X a year and a half ago. Great show. Super tight.

One of my dad's friends had a band that used to open for them all of the time when they played in SF.

-BSD

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

Bad Religion played the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills???

TheOneTrueBill (July 19, 2005)

The Bronx covered X?

A few years ago X came to Chicago for one night at the House of Blues. I was all excited, thinking that I'd get to see them. Unfortunatly it was 21 so I couldn't get in. I was crushed.

I really need to see them before they stop for good.

ElVaquero (July 19, 2005)

no one would know who this band is if the bronx hadn't covered them.

(kidding)

BrandonSideleau (July 19, 2005)

I should have probably added that John Doe sang beautifully as well. Exdpect a review of his amazing new album from me next week....along with a review of the new Danzig DVD being sent to me by Comlumbia this week. I've been gone for a while, so I'm coming back full circle.

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

x is the 24th letter of the alphabet

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

x is legendary

Anonymous (July 19, 2005)

X is awesome.

-JL

LevitateMe (July 19, 2005)

I saw them with Joe Strummer and Tiger Army back in either 01 or 02, they were pretty good

stevejonestherealbones (July 19, 2005)

dude, i'm pretty sure thats not a real email address

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

qualityrevenge (July 19, 2005)

first sucka.....

X is one of the best punk rock bands ever...hands down.

Anyone who has a problem with that can email me at:
gofuckyourself@Xrules.com

-new guy

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