XAuditorium Shores, Nov. 2
"Let's hear it for the Big Boys!," exclaimed bassist John Doe as X took the stage Friday night. The invocation of Fun Fun Fun Fest's musical pedigree proved prescient. With actor/comedian David Cross looking on behind ever-smiling guitarist Billy Zoom, X slammed through all of Los Angeles and a good hunk of Wild Gift in a raucous set that constantly veered toward the guardrail. Even before they made it through opener "Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not," drummer DJ Bonebrake lived up to his name by breaking his snare. Unbowed, X powered on through the rest of its classic, clunker-free, 1980 debut, courting mass transcendence on "Jonny Hit and Run Paulene," "The Unheard Music," and "The World's A Mess; It's In My Kiss." Unfortunately, vocalist Exene Cervenka kept getting lost in a mix that grossly overfavored the low end. The sonic nadir came during "White Girl," which was plodding and bereft of nuance. After that, the sound improved marginally and the band recovered nicely with Election Day lament "The New World," and a thunderous version of "The Hungry Wolf." A substantial slice of the crowd headed for Run-DMC prior to X's encore, but the faithful were rewarded with "In This House That I Call Home" in all its twisted American glory.