X Celebrates 40 Years – Roxy Theatre – December 29, 2016
with special guests The Blasters
Words & Photos by Charlie Steffens
It was a homecoming show for the legendary punk rock band X. The quartet, celebrating their 40th anniversary, performed for a sold-out house at The Roxy Theatre on night #2 of a four-date residency.
The Blasters, handpicked to play by their headliner friends, opened up the evening smartly with a set of hits dating back to their early ‘80s origins. Singer/guitarist Dave Alvin belted out “I’m Shakin”, “Trouble Bound”, “American Music”, “Marie Marie”, and other favorites. Guitarist Keith Wyatt played ultra-tight solos with a passion that elevated the already high-spirited room.
The crowd, a cross-section of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials, thronged from the bar up to the stage. It seemed like an odd mix—not nearly resembling those punk aficionados who were at the shows during X’s emergence in the late 1970s. There were no stage dives, brawls, or any visible blood being spilled; instead, there was a sense of exuberance among the audience, who jumped up and down and danced in place, a much-tamer version of the mosh pit.
X, with original members Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake, hit the stage looking right at home—aptly, as the The Roxy is where the popular Angelenos play their annual X-Mas shows. “Beyond and Back” started off the 23-song set, and the band withheld nothing, throwing down old-school and not letting up until the last chords of their encore, “Because I Do”, faded from the room.