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LIVE: X wsg SKATING POLLY – May 15, 2019

Venue: El Club

City: Detroit, MI

Date: May 21, 2019

Review and Photographs by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur (www.toddstarphotography.com)

There aren’t many bands that have been around for forty years that I dig and haven’t seen yet, but X is one of those bands.  Having celebrated their 40th Anniversary back in 2017 (and having missed that tour), I couldn’t wait to check them out for the first time.  That opportunity became a reality recently when they announced and played a show at Detroit’s El Club.  Kicking the show off is sibling self-proclaimed ugly pop trio Skating Polly.  This trio hit the stage and played like a band with something to prove… and prove themselves they did.  Loaded with a setlist that covered their catalog as well as some shifting of players on the stage, they kept their show moving.  As they moved from set opener “Queen for a Day” through nine more songs before closing with “They’re Cheap (I’m Free),” you could see the crowd get more interested and even start dancing along from song to song.  Two songs unknown to me before the evening really grabbed me – the recently released “Play House” and “Camelot” – prompted me to wander over to the merch table before leaving the venue and picking up a couple discs.  If you happen to see them out on the road, be sure to pay attention, as the threesome assume different roles, with all three taking their turn on guitar as well as the bass and drums being controlled by more than one of the three.

After a quick changeover, the band everyone packed the venue to see took to the stage without any pomp and circumstance and kicked off their set with “Beyond and Back.”  The band – vocalist Exene Cervenka, bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom, and drummer DJ Bonebrake – were comfortable on stage as they took the crowd on a fun punk journey.  Next up was the one-two punch of “In This House That I Call Home” and “Because I Do” which found me singing from the front of the audience as I snapped photo after photo of the foursome.  John Doe’s bass was crisp and helped anchor the bottom end while drummer Bonebrake controlled the tempo from behind his kit.  A couple tracks layer, the band ripped into another of my favorites – “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch” – and kept the energy flowing as the vibe passed from stage to audience and back again.  Without drawing attention to herself as an individual front and center on the stage lead singer and front woman Exene controlled not only the flow of the show, but helped keep the energy of the show up and moving.  The band pulled nine tracks from the album Wild Gift and peppered them into the set with tracks from other discs in their catalog and even tossed in a killer version of The Doors’ “Soul Kitchen.”  The guitar playing (as well as some cool sax) from Billy Zoom was spot on from track to track, including but definitely not limited to, “Adult Books” and “Year 1” along with others.  While their were tracks that Doe lead the charge on with his thumping bass and some lead vocals, it was watching Cervenka that kept a lot of the crowd – including myself – mesmerized from track to track.  Other bands front person could take a tip from this humble performer, as she never seemed to feel the need to insert herself for attention.  Two tracks that jumped out and reminded me of the band’s killer catalog were “The Hungry Wolf” and Johnny Hit & Run Pauline,” both of which had a little more power and crunch behind them tonight than I remember the recorded versions having.  As the set wound towards the end, I can’t think of a better track for the band to close the evening with than “Devil Doll.”  If you are looking for a fun night out with an evening filled with great music, look no further than an X performance.  These guys are as cohesive live as they have ever been on studio material and they entertain while taking you back over their four decades.  Be sure to check them out when they come through your town… I know I will from now on!

X Setlist: Beyond and Back – In This House That I Call Home – Because I Do – White Girl – The Once Over Twice – When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch – I’m Coming Over – Adult Books – Dancing With Tears in My Eyes – Come Back to Me – I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts – The Unheard Music – The New World – Year 1 – The Hungry Wolf – Your Phone’s Off the Hook, But You’re Not – Nausea – Johnny Hit & Run Pauline – Motel Room in My Bed – Soul Kitchen – Some Other Time – Devil Doll

Skating Polly Setlist: Queen for a Day – Louder In Outer Space – Little Girl Blue and Battle – Free Will At Ease – Pretective Boy – Nothing More Than a Body – Play House – Oddie Moore – Hail Mary – Camelot – They’re Cheap (I’m Free)

Complete set of X show photos HERE

X LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

 

Complete set of SKATING POLLY show photos HERE

SKATING POLLY LINKS:

OFFICIAL SITE

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

Todd ‘ToddStar’ Jolicoeur

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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