Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Night With X

Saturday night I was fortunate enough to have gotten to go see the original line-up of X in concert and OH MY GOD WAS IT GOOD.

I didn't grow up with punk music, my parents were just young enough to not have grown up with it and therefore, not force it on me as a child. I got Devo and Depeche Mode and The Smiths instead. I discovered punk music when I was in highschool and I listened to Sex Pistols for the first time. Of course, I did what every lost, angry teenager did and I downloaded as much punk as I could after that. Since I didn't know what good punk was and I only knew what was "popular", I downloaded things like The Clash and.... The Sex Pistols. I even had a Sex Pistols poster and an anarchy symbol on my wall..... yeah, I was that bitch. I guess you could say I didn't REALLY discover punk till I was 18. When I was 18 I started dating my first really serious boyfriend. His dad HAD grown up in the punk era and we all lived in Huntington Beach where punk was a big thing in the 70's. That's when I got to know Black Flag, The Undertones, Dead Kennedys, The Misfits, The Plasmatics, Adolescents, Agent Orange... etc. etc. etc.... and X. The first time I heard X is when my boyfriend at the time was driving and Los Angeles came on. I fell into a deep, mad love. I fell in love with Exene's wail, Billy Zoom's sweet riffs, DJ Bonebreak's snazzy jams, and John Doe's wobbly voice (I also play bass so of course I loved him for that too)  My favorite song became Johnny Hit and Run Paulene, not the most predictable one to be in love with but I enjoyed it immensely.

I grew more in more in love with punk throughout our years of dating, even when he cheated on my and broke my heart, I just dove more into punk. Punk was perfect for me. I have always been full of anger and bitter rage. Punk was a release. A bass line I could play that was so fast it made my fingers hurt. Something I could scream to in my car that made me feel amazing. The lyrics always seemed more relate-able to me than Adele or any other bullshit. Just the culture and the look I fell in love with. I never got on board with the anarchy aspect or the chains and safety pins part, but that is the shallow version of punk. Punk is so much deeper than what we see it as when we are angsty teenagers. I can't even really describe it to you. For those of you who love punk the way I do, you understand. You see it through my fucked up eyes. There are no words.

Alright, enough of this love letter to punk, on with the show.

When we showed up at the Observatory it was full of older people who grew up with punk and young pain in the ass teenagers that think punk is "how many safety pins can I fit on one pant leg?" or "If I spray paint my hair purple, that's punk right? RIGHT?" There were very few people who were in the gap between these two groups. I was one of them. I wasn't older and hadn't seen Exene in her glory days and I wasn't some little shit that came to get belligerent and smash into people. I was the 20-something kid that was wearing a polka dot, black dress (Yes Exene!) and my boots. I looked like I should be at a Bright Eyes concert to these punk teenagers. More proof that they are idiots and dont know X well enough to be allowed inside. We got in and took our spot as close to the stage as possible.

This is how close I was. Preeeeetty sweet, right?
The first band that went up was pretty bad. I'm sure their music wasn't bad music but it wasnt my taste. Nobody else seemed to like them either because they just kept screaming at them to get off. I couldn't even tell you who they were because I didn't catch their name or care. After them was Sean Wheeler and Zander Schloss. Wow. I had never heard of them before but they were AWESOME. Sean was wearing a frilly orange shirt and a suit jacket. Immediately bad ass. If you havent heard their CD, I highly recommend you listen to it.
Click me to buy me!!!
They were very folksy and at some point, played something that looked like a sitar. Sean was running around all over the stage and dancing. He even did the Pee Wee Herman for us.

They didn't overstay their welcome onstage and right after they got off, X appeared.

I can't really type out much about their set other than, it was phenomenal. They sounded as good as ever. I have seen old punk bands in concert before and you can tell they had disintegrated. NOT X. Exene was still her same ol' awesome self. She was drinking beer the whole time and at one point just threw it into the audience. Yes, I got coated in Exene's beer and I was honored. John Doe rocked hard as fuck and DJ Bonebreak made delightfully silly faces. What was the best though is Billy Zoom's face the whole show. He just smiled and played his guitar like it was the most natural thing in the world. Since he had to put no effort into being a guitar god, he spent the show looking around the audience and smiling for pictures, smiling at beautiful women, and looking at titties. YES BILLY ZOOM LOOKED AT MY TITS AND I WAS TOTALLY COOL WITH IT. You earned it Billy, you earned it.

The show is something I'll remember forever. Regardless of the shitty punk kids that kept slamming into me and not appreciating what was in front of them, the drunk bitches that screamed way too loud in my ear, and the guy I was with puking in the mosh pit. And they even played my favorite song.

Have a real punk rock day everyone.

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