X / Rollins Band / Riverboat Gamblers

X / Rollins Band / Riverboat Gamblers: live in Agoura Hillslive in Agoura Hills (2006)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 5
User Rating:

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

When the "As the World Burns" tour was first announced, I nearly wet my pants. X and the Rollins Band sharing a single bill? Forget about it! That lineup is utterly bulletproof! With that, you can understand my prompt, joy-induced blackout when I found out that they would be playing less than 4 mile.

When the "As the World Burns" tour was first announced, I nearly wet my pants. X and the Rollins Band sharing a single bill? Forget about it! That lineup is utterly bulletproof! With that, you can understand my prompt, joy-induced blackout when I found out that they would be playing less than 4 miles from my boring suburban home in the very unlikely town of Agoura Hills. I have been to the Canyon Club quite a few times, mainly due to its locality and lack of a barrier between the stage and the audience. I had previously seen Bad Religion, Dave Chappelle, and X twice at the Canyon, so getting to the show was no problem (unlike many shows in Los Angeles). I arrived at about 5 P.M. on July 30th to conduct short interviews with John Doe and Exene, but you can read about that later.

Anyway, the opening slot on this tour is occupied by the Riverboat Gamblers from Austin, Texas -- a band that, up until now, I had known absolutely nothing about. They proceeded to start the night off with a bang! Their music reminds me of a tight mix between Funhouse-era Stooges and early Ramones, featuring a wild frontman who spent 90% of the show off-stage, out on the dance floor and in the dining areas. At this early point in the show, the venue was relatively empty and uninterested...which made the show all the better since the Gamblers played their asses off regardless. Their singer frequently jumped onto occupied dinner tables/chairs and basically sang his ass off. This is one energetic band, I'm gonna have to check them out.

Anyway, their set lasted about 30 minutes and soon Henry Rollins' road crew (which consists of only two people that I could see, one of them I know of as 'Road Manager Mike') was prepping the stage for the newly reunited Weight-era Rollins Band. At about 9 P.M. Sim Cain, Chris Haskett, Melvin Gibbs, and Henry Rollins quickly burst onto the stage and went on to deliver the best show I've ever seen from the Rollins Band (and that's quite a feat to accomplish, given this band has never faultered). They opened with "On My Way to the Cage" and went on to play mostly a mix of Weight / Come in & Burn with a few songs from Lifetime, Hot Animal Machine and End of Silence thrown in. Songs included "Low Self Opinion," "Starve," "Black & White," "Burned Beyond Recognition," "Volume 4," "Civilized," "Icon," "All I Want," "You Didn't Need," "Divine Object of Hatred" and, surprisingly, "Liar" (I read somewhere that Henry said he would never play that song again) and that was a very nice surprise as, regardless of its popularity, I have always liked that song. Henry's vocals were excellent, very raw and angry and much in the vein of somwhere between End of Silence and Weight, even bordering on Hard Volume harsh intensity levels at times. This guy really knows how to give it all; his performance was intensely physical and these days he seems to somewhat resemble Bruce Lee in physique. But, of course, Henry is only 1/4 of a 4-part perfect combo. Melvin's bass playing was, as always, funky and mind blowing, as was Haskett's classic funk-infused guitar playing. Sim Cain had his chance to shine with an amazing drum solo at the end of "Starve" (it must be noted that these guys all have some serious musical background -- Sim was in Greg Ginn's amazing "Gone," for example). After closing with "Liar," Rollins generously shook all of the front audience's hands and left the stage, leaving the night set for the headliners -- the legendary X.

I had seen X here twice before and both times they were great, so I had no worries about tonights performance. Also, I think it's important to add that I was told that they no longer even have to rehearse -- the band is THAT good. Billy Zoom, John Doe, Bonebrake, and Exene all took the stage and the audience went absolutely nuts. They opened with "Your Phone's Off the Hook But You're Not" from the classic Los Angeles record and went on to play a very long set consisting of classics such as "Devil Doll," "Los Angeles," "Johnny Hit & Run Pauline," "We're Desperate," and, to my delight, the previously absent love ballad "Adult Books." Their set was amazing and everybody in the band seemed relaxed and having a good time. The fact that my knees were being literally crushed into the stage by the surging audience behind me only added to the intensity of the experience. An amazing performance by one of the greatest rock'n'roll bands of all time.

This will be a night I rememeber the rest of my days; all the bands destroyed and left their audience begging for more. You'd be an utter fool to pass up a chance to see this tour when it comes blowing through your town.


People who liked this also liked:
The Evens - The EvensJohn Doe - Forever Hasn't Happened YetBlack Flag - Slip It InBlack Flag - DamagedMeat Puppets - Meat Puppets IIRollins Band - WeightBlack Flag - Loose NutFlipper - GenericMike Watt - The Secondman's Middle StandSex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks, Hereā??s the Sex Pistols

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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.
funkspiel (August 20, 2006)

Rollins isn't gay, you ignorant piece of shit.

Scruffy (August 3, 2006)

"Nope...I was the guy way up front and center with the grey Rollins Band shirt singing along to every word. I didn't get a set list."

Oh, Brandon, you were "that guy"?

gladimnotemo (August 3, 2006)

I like how people are questioning the fact whether or not X and HENRY FUCKING ROLLINS can "follow" Riverboat Gamblers? Sheesh.

swingline (August 2, 2006)

you loathe X yet your username is mute98... jesus christ.

Mute98 (August 2, 2006)

fuck i meant nick v

Mute98 (August 2, 2006)

joeg, id go with b, mainly because i loathe X

jamespastepunk (August 2, 2006)

$35 a pop at the House of Blues? I'll skip it.

Anonymous (August 2, 2006)

henry is an angry gay man. he needs to stop assulting girls.

rubyx (August 2, 2006)

X is amazing.

joeg (August 2, 2006)

thanks for the review. i've been looking forward to this show all summer.

A) Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band, X


B) Adolescents, Street Dogs, Vacancies

damn tough choice. x and adolescents are both great live and both legendary, so they kinda cancel each other out. the street dogs are cool live but they'll tour again. i heard this tour for henry rollins is like a trial run as to whether he wants to continue with the band in the future after the tour so i think he is not to be missed. and i'll take the riverboat gamblers over the vacancies.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

Did Henry leave any of his gay porn on stage during the show?

andwolves (August 1, 2006)

oh ok well i have the list it's

Your Phone's Off The Hook
Who You Know
Beyond and Back
In This House That I Call Home
We're Desperate
I'm Coming Over
Adult Books
Los Angeles
True Love
The Unheard Music
The New World
Year 1
Johnny Hit and Run Pauline
Motel Room
Devil Doll
Once Over Two
White Girl
Soul Kitchen
Because I Do
Blue Spark
The World's A Mess It's In My Kiss

They didn't play the second encore though.

I was the kid right in front of Billy Zoom with the Social Distortion Shirt.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

i have backstage passes for this

SalsaShark (August 1, 2006)

The Riverboat Gamblers are honestly in the top 10 live bands I've ever seen, and I'm not even much of a fan of their music. It's mostly because Mike, the vocalist, is all over the place and has this incredible energy.

After having seen the Gamblers three times, I can say my personal favorite moment was when Mike took the mic out of the front door of the club where the Gamblers were playing and started singing the song to the people in the street.

BrandonSideleau (August 1, 2006)

Nope...I was the guy way up front and center with the grey Rollins Band shirt singing along to every word. I didn't get a set list.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

hey mr. brandon sir. were you that guy that offered me $3 for the setlist after the show?

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

Can't wait for this show in Philly.

That being said--go see the Street Dogs. Just saw them last week and it was once again a religious experinece-in a good way.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

"Sim was in Greg Ginn's amazing "Gone," for example"



SlackMFr (August 1, 2006)

My score is for X, they do no wrong in my book.

Nick_V (August 1, 2006)

I need your guys' opinion on something - I can only go to one of the following shows on Sunday... shall I go with

A) Riverboat Gamblers, Rollins Band, X


B) Adolescents, Street Dogs, Vacancies?

Gimme some feedback here.

skankin_in_the_pit (August 1, 2006)

My roomates and I have had the gamblers and X on almost non-stop for a couple weeks preparing for tomorrow nights stop. Should be such an amazing show. Stoked!

sprainedsoul (August 1, 2006)

Making a road trip to Orlando for this show. 2006 is turning into a great year, live show-wise.

sickboi (August 1, 2006)

I knew before I even clicked on this review that Brandon did it...

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

Dude, I would never want to follow Riverboat Gamblers at a show if I were in a band. Even though their new record is kind of weak, their stage show is miles beyond most bands'.

Anonymous (August 1, 2006)

awesome. should be great when it hits NYC!

theOneTrueBill (August 1, 2006)

I'm heading to the House of Blues to buy my ticket for the Chicago date tomorrow. I've been listening to a shit ton of X lately to get psyched up.

In the span of two and a half weeks I will have seen the Germs, Adolescents, and X. My life could not possibly get any better.

kingofsuck (August 1, 2006)

I'm kind of surprised X was headlining over Rollins Band.

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