X frontwoman Exene Cervenka is a consummate entertainer, and her harmonies with X frontman John Doe never get old. Photos by Tina Hagerling.
Another one from the wayback files. Apologies for the lag.
After seeing X about 10 times, I’m prepared to tell you that the veteran L.A. punk band rarely has an off show. The band is fiercely on-point almost all of the time, and their consistency is almost scary. That said, the band’s shows don’t often vary that much.
Billy Zoom always has that alien smile on his face, and he’s always dead-on when it comes to the raging, if melodic, punk guitars that fuel the band’s madness. Singers John Doe and Exene Cervenka always sound that good, and drummer D.J. Bonebrake is the perpetual rock of a metronome that keeps things on time.
The four-piece’s consistency is exciting, but they also need to switch things up. They tried something with this current tour where fans voted for the setlist they wanted to hear, and while that was a bold idea, it didn’t result in that different of a setlist from their past swings through Denver.
The band started strong at its second night at the Bluebird Theater on April 15. First came the lovingly familiar “Your Phone’s Off the Hook But You’re Not;” Then the rager “We’re Having Much More Fun;” And then the gorgeous countrified ballad “Burning House of Love.” The band is solid, and with Mayor John Hickenlooper’s help, they’re forging a unique relationship with the Mile High City.
Hick has come out publicly as a big X fan — whether he’s hanging at the Lion’s Lair catching a solo John Doe set or perched aside the Bluebird’s stage watching the band and singing along. This swing through Denver, Hick had the group over for lunch.
“For us it was like, ‘How fucking times have changed,’ ” Doe told the Bluebird audience on the second night. (Hick attended the first show.)
Ricardo Baca is the founder and co-editor of Reverb and an award-winning critic and journalist at The Denver Post. He is also the executive director of the Underground Music Showcase, Colorado’s premier festival of local music. Follow his whimsies at Twitter, his live music habit at Gigbot and his iTunes addictions at Last.fm.
Tina Hagerling is a Denver-based freelance photographer and web designer. See more of her work here.