Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Jun 18th 2010 10:45AM by Steve McLean
X made its long-awaited return to Toronto with a free show at Yonge-Dundas Square for NXNE that brought out a surprisingly diverse crowd eager to see the Los Angeles punk pioneers.
The veteran quartet comprised of singer/bassist John Doe, singer Exene Cervenka, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake was louder and musically more aggressive early on than their appearance at Austin, Texas' SXSW two years ago, and a low vocal mix emphasized that aspect of the show.
Doe was nattily attired in a suit, but his look was more refined than his behaviour.
He bounded all over the stage, while Cervenka danced a bit but was never too far from the microphone. Zoom smiled and posed all night and was the picture of efficiency in his playing, even during his occasional razor-sharp solos.
Cervenka, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis a year ago, had some issues with her vocals which occasionally seemed a bit off-key and sometimes didn't quite keep up with Doe on the harmonies. But that mattered little to the large audience who were treated to old favourites like 'The Hungry Wolf,' 'True Love,' 'Johnny Hit And Run Paulene,' 'Motel Room In My Bed' and 'Devil Doll.'
The square's 11PM curfew was fast approaching when X was called out for an encore, and they paid tribute to another influential Los Angeles band, the Doors. The group whipped through a version of 'Soul Kitchen' seemingly laced with amphetamines -- and hearing the title in the chorus was the only reason it was recognizable.