Los Angeles’ X played to a packed house at The Roxy in Hollywood, their second night of a four-night residency. As one of the last great rock clubs on the Sunset Strip, the Roxy provided the perfect stage for X, and special guests Mike Watt and the Secondmen, to celebrate homecoming on their annual ‘A Family X-Mas’ tour. For X, however, the reason for the season was the return of guitarist Billy Zoom to the stage. Zoom had been sidelined for cancer treatments since July, and had not performed on stage until the tour’s opening date in San Diego on November 27th. So, with their longtime guitarist back in tune, X aptly dubbed the string of holiday performances their very own “Xmas Miracle.”
X rocked the crowd with a healthy set of favorites from their first four albums, Los Angeles, Wild Gift, Under the Big Black Sun, and More Fun in the New World (all of which were produced by Ray Manzarek of the Doors). “The Unheard Music” from their 1980 debut Los Angeles was dedicated to Manzarek, who died on May 20, 2013. The punk-infused Doors cover “Soul Kitchen” seemed a nod to their departed cohort as well.
Though he was seated during the set, Zoom’s guitar majesty reigned throughout the set. His trademark ear-to ear grin never went away, save for a couple of songs when he played saxophone. John Doe and Exene Cervenka’s unconventional vocal harmonies remain unparalleled, with “The World’s a Mess It’s in My Kiss” and “Because I Do,” as two examples.
No Christmas songs were played the entire evening from either band. Perfect.
Check the band playing “Breathless” on David Letterman in 1983.