Pipeline Outing Report: X

I saw X play at the Cabooze last night. And, since 3 or more Pipeline People were gathered in one place, it was an Official Pipeline Outing. All in all, it was an outstanding night. Any time you’re seeing a band that’s been around as long as X you wonder if you’re going to be depressed after the show for not seeing them when they were younger and better. But that was definitely not the case with X last night. Exene sounded pretty good, and Billy Zoom is amazing in many respects. Not only does his guitar sound as though it’s powered by nuclear energy, but his on-stage schtick of eery grins, the “Hey, do I know you?” wide-eyed stares into the audience, and the little ritual where he allows people to touch his guitar were all irresistible to watch. It changed between hilarious and disturbing every five seconds. But the dude can play, and after the show he spent a lot of time shaking hands and mingling with people.

In fact, the whole band was pretty affable. And just top notch musicianship, kick-ass songs (virtually the entire two hour set was from their first three albums, which is the way it should be), and not much screwing around. They just cruised through song after song and really tore it up. It was a small venue, so I had a pretty close and comfortable vantage point. It was a great way to see one of the greatest American bands, period.

I went with our friend Debbie, a former punk rocker who saw them in 1986 or so. As we left her house, her son Billy Joe, the kid who just a year ago was borrowing tons of CDs from me and starting to figure out what he liked, was painting his jacket with various punk rock logos (Bad Brains, Dead Kennedy’s). He’s totally caught music fever, is starting to get aggressive about learning bass and guitar, etc. Fun times for him and fun for his mom to share with him. But tonight was not an all-ages show, so Billy couldn’t go. Which is too bad; he would have loved it.

That’s OK, though. It’s nice to still be getting out to shows that we can tell our kids about someday.

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4 Responses to Pipeline Outing Report: X

  1. Alex says:

    Yes, they were great. We saw them in 2006 and, at that time, Exene acted like she had the flu or was drunk or something. Last night, all four were hot.

    I also saw them in 1984 and they were just as hot then…only slightly younger.

    The club was much smaller than the Fineline, so there wasn’t room for slamming, though we got into it a little.

    BTW, underage is admitted with parent.

  2. steim says:


    I didn’t notice Brian Setzer there. Doug, did you? Where was he sitting from us?

    Great show, but Billy Zoom is just too creepy.

  3. Doug Hennessee says:

    No, I missed Brian Setzer. I think he was in the balcony that was over to our right.

    I’m going to practice my Billy Zoom so I can do that while I play Guitar Hero. But the thing is, the more accurately I do it, the less people will believe that anybody actually does what Billy Zoom does. He is very much like a robot, and of course he’s cranking out some of the gnarliest punk rock/rockabilly riffs the whole time and barely breaking a sweat.

    Did the dude even have an effects pedal? I don’t think he did. One guitar, one setting: LOUD.

  4. steim says:

    I didn’t notice an effects pedal either. A nice amp with probably a distortion setting. That was really loud. Maybe sitting directly in front of his amp wasn’t the best move.

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