I jumped at the opportunity to see X perform at Slim’s last week. Never having seen them as a youth, I was a little wary that the time that passed since their heyday in the 80s may have been a cruel burden upon their abilities and my memories. But, as I entered the sold out club, I began to feel the energy of the crowd and a tinge of excitement started to creep up my spine.
The band blew onstage, announced they would be performing Los Angeles in its entirety, and launched into “Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not” with the force of a freight train. I hardly had time to savor the moment before they flew into “Johny Hit and Run Paulene,” and then to their cover of The Door’s “Soul Kitchen” where they brought out Los Angeles producer and Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek to sit in.
All in all the show was amazing, the musicianship spot-on and the crowd fully engaged throughout. It was enchanting to watch a band fall back in time and into their selected roles song after song, and even more so watching the crowd fall back with them. I rejoice in the fact that X exists, they were influential on every level when I was most malleable, and I admire that impact very much. Plus, what line sums up being 17 better than “The World’s a Mess: It’s In My Kiss”? Well, besides maybe “Damaged” by Black Flag, but it’s a close second.