Words and Photos by Greg Jacobs
Brouerij West 2 year anniversary in San Pedro, CA, March 3, 2018
It’s tough to write a review of X. They’ve been a band, with the same members, for over 40 years. What could I possibly write that someone hasn’t already written? After 40 years of being a band if you don’t know what X sounds like, stop reading this right now and go buy ANY of their records. My personal favorite is “Los Angeles” but they are all great. Seriously. Stop now and do it. Go to iTunes or Spotify or wherever you kids hear music these days and listen to X.
They were amazing! Exene was a lot more animated and seemed a lot happier to be playing than the last time I saw them.
The biggest differences are that Billy Zoom and John Doe have switched sides on the stage. Billy is now stage left and John stage right … the other difference is the Billy plays the set while seated. He’s still got his patented smile and still rocks, but from a seated position. He’s had some health battles over the last few years and I’m sure this is a precaution or a doctor’s recommendation, but I don’t really know – I’m guessing.
X has so many great songs … Their 21-song set list was highlighted by House That I Call Home, White Girl, Hungry Wolf and my personal favorite, Los Angeles.
Although he was actually born in Virginia, no musician in my mind is more associated with San Pedro than Minutemen and fIREHOSE founder Mike Watt. Mike’s band, Mike Watt and the Missingmen were on stage just before X tonight. If Watt wasn’t on this bill, I would have been shocked. He’s been flying the flag for Pedro since before forming the Minutemen with D. Boone in 1980 and he belongs on this bill!
Watt lead his 3 piece, Missingmen band through a great set of Watt-esque songs. I’m not sure how else to describe it. Watt’s music has always defied categorization, which is much more punk-rock than the “mall-punk” we are inundated with these days. Watt’s music is bass driven, fast, frantic, jazzy and extremely well played. Plus, Watt wins the prize of making the best “bass faces” in the world! Long Live Mike Watt!
The 3-piece, L.A. Witch opened my night with their “reverb-soaked-punked-out-rock” (borrowed from their facebook page). Their songs are catchy, but this is no pop band. Imagine David Lynch helping to write a movie a soundtrack while Charlie Manson and a 60’s garage band are actually playing the music. Think Twin Peaks meets The Cramps and you’ll start to get the picture. I’m looking forward to seeing them again, and soon!
San Pedro’s own surf band Bombon opened the night just as the sun was setting and the temperatures were dropping.