Live Review

X Celebrates Their 40th Anniversary at the Showbox in Seattle

X on December 27, 2017

X performing at the Showbox in Seattle to celebrate their 40th Anniversary.

Closing out my 2017, I was excited to once again catch one of my favorite bands from my youth. Hard to believe, but here was X, who in 1977 started playing gigs in Los Angeles clubs like the Masque, Club Lingerie, Madame Wong’s, the Starwood, and Country Club. Hard to believe that 40 years has gone by so quickly.

X has been on tour this past year celebrating their 40th anniversary, and to finish up the year, a visit to Seattle’s Showbox was one of their last stops. What has been amazing about X is their evolution, as start-up punk band and then channeling their country roots cowpunk (before the genre Americana existed) into the Knitters, having their respective solo projects, and then coming “Beyond and Back” to celebrate the music.

Opening the evening, also from Los Angeles, was LP3 and The Tragedy. With the release of their first album Southland Hum, LP3 and The Tragedy are led by a duo of Los Lobos cousins, Louis Perez III and Ruby Rosas.

LP3 and The Tragedy completely blew everyone away with their fierce assault of rockin’ cowpunk, mixing their brand of rootsy Americana and thrashin’ punk rock. Louis Perez III takes charge of the stage with his ripping guitar and Ruby Rosas holds down the bass lines along with Eric Fuller on drums, Carlos Guzman on rhythm guitar and mandolin, and Mike Berault on organ and accordion.

X opened their show with the songs “Beyond and Back,” “Because I Do,” “Sugarlight,” “Some Other Time,” and “Adult Books” from the albums Los Angeles and Wild Gift, respectively. Then the band ripped into their rousing version of Otis Blackwell’s “Breathless” (made famous by Jerry Lee Lewis), which was originally a single for the Richard Gere movie Breathless from 1983.

While the start of the concert consisted of music from the first two albums, the show continued with songs from Under The Big Black Sun, featuring “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes,” “Come Back To Me,” and “The Hungry Wolf,” which had Drummer D.J. Bonebrake move over to his vibraphone and guitarist Billy Zoom blowing some sweet saxophone flourishes.

Over the entire set, Exene sounded great, both in her lead vocals and her harmonies with bassist John Doe. Zoom once again thrilled with his beautiful Gretsch guitar while D.J. Bonebrake bashed away on his drum kit. Last month while I was in Los Angeles I was able to visit the Grammy Museum, where X is being recognized with an exhibit: 40 Years of Punk in Los Angeles.

More photos of X:

More photos of LP3 and The Tragedy:


Great article but they played at Madame Wong's in LA, not Madman Wong's. wink

Damn auto spellcheck...

Peter, your photos here are exceptional. I say that as a fellow photographer. Absolutely great stuff that I would be proud of. Great legendary band that still remains a little outside of public consciousness perhaps because they never had a huge "radio"hit. And you have to admit they truly have a unique sound, entirely their own. So much of what is labled "punk" these days is pure dreck. They all sound alike, 2 chord, maybe 3 chord, the requisite cookie monster growl and no discernible melodys. X came at it more from a songwriter perspective and that for me sets them apart.

Thanks, X always has been more than just a "punk" band. As they have been touring this past year, they have focused primarlily on their songs from the first four albums, kinda wished they would supplement the song list with some lesser know songs from the albums "Ain't Love Grand", "See How We Are" and "Hey Zeus!"

Thanks for this, and the pics. Wish I could have been there.


Thanks Amos