X, Wooly’s, Des Moines, Iowa, August 30, 2015

Although the Los Angeles punk band X has inexplicably evaded this punk rock fan’s musical rotation for two decades, my wife and I were motivated to see the influential creation of Exene Cervenka, John Doe, DJ Bonebrake, and Billy Zoom at Des Moines’ Wooly’s. Sadly, guitarist Zoom is again treating cancer, thus is unable to tour. However, the worthy rockabilly guitarist Jesse Dayton is currently standing in.

Since we arrived early, my wife and I ate at the terrific Zombie Burger, located a few blocks from Wooly’s, before purchasing our tickets and entering the venue as opener Dead Rock West was performing.  The group was supporting their recent Everly Brothers cover album, It’s Everly Time!, and surprised the audience when X joined them in closing their set with the traditional gospel song, “This May Be the Last Time.”

X was energetic and on point, particularly due to Dayton’s skilled playing, enthusiasm, and respect for X’s catalog.  DJ Bonebrake’s quick and reliable foundation was also impressive and, of course, much attention was commanded by the duo of Exene and Doe. They covered many of their records, and made sure to focus on the classics and fan favorites.

In the week since the show, I’ve begun listening to X’s catalog, especially Los Angeles, and though I now regret having missed out on their music for years, I’m enjoying the rare emotions felt when initially hearing and truly taking notice of a great, classic band.

The pictures you see below were shot by me and the full live audio I recorded of X’s set and collaboration with Dead Rock West are available to download here.  Please, support the bands and leave a like or comment if you appreciate the MP3s.


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