X (40th anniversary) + Mike Watt and The Secondmen / San Francisco

Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Stage set-up / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco

Sometimes, a plan comes together just right, and then sometimes there’s the opposite…. This night of X (Dec. 9, 2016) was definitely the opposite.

X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco - marquee
X 40th anniversary tour / show at The Independent in San Francisco – marquee

The “Plan” was to come back from a healing journey at an Ayurvedic clinic in India to meet up with old friends and celebrate this legendary punk band’s 40th anniversary. As it goes, my trip was cut short under frankly the worst circumstances (which I won’t bother you with here). Then, my friends decided to go to the LA shows instead of the San Francisco 3-night run, another friend simply didn’t show up, and phone calls to other pals couldn’t rally up any excitement.

So, I found myself outside, alone, with extra paid-for tickets but…with two excellent bands to see: X, with original lineup, and a personal hero Mike Watt, this time playing with “The Secondmen”.

Both bands in fine form, X’s drummer DJ Bonebrake celebrated a birthday with a cake and a fez, Billy Zoom (recovered for medical conundrums) grinned on a stool, John Doe and Exene brought the energy with their twin-mic attack.

Billy Zoom plays guitar / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
John Doe and Exene Cervenka sing / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
John Doe and Exene Cervenka sing / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
DJ Bonebrake (drummer) receives a birthday cake / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
DJ Bonebrake (drummer) receives a birthday cake / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco

I stood on the rail, stage right and enjoyed both bands despite my blues and malaise, made friends with a kindly bartender when buying my single beer, and drifted off into the night to a borrowed house.

The next night, accompanied by a dear friend, I saw Mike Watt and The Secondmen again at an intimate venue (Winter’s Tavern in Pacifica) and experienced punk rock joy and happiness, which if interested, you can read more about in detail.

Music is good healing in hard times, but sometimes hard times are just hard and lonely.

John Doe's bass / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
John Doe’s bass / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Billy Zoom's guitar / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Billy Zoom’s guitar / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
vibraphone / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
vibraphone / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Mike Watt and the Secondmen set list / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco
Mike Watt and the Secondmen set list / X 40th anniversary tour/show at The Independent in San Francisco