Saturday, June 6, 2009

X/Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts - 9:30 Club - June 6 2009

Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts - Soto is the bass player for the Adolescents and was integral in creating the great LA backing vocal style in the punk scene. This just preceded Bad Religion's "Oozin' Aahs". So I looked forward to seeing him at lead vocals and rhythm guitar with a band I did not know. He was augmented with guitar, bass, drums, and keys/accordian. They played a rootsy rock music that is pretty common in California. Many of the songs were well above average if not very good and the musicians were excellent as well. Soto was in fine voice as well. The crowd grew during the set and had a good time.

X - The original four members tour as X and many of them play and tour in various other bands as well. Apparently, they played the 30 songs voted on by DC people visiting their web site. So no classic was skipped and it was fun to see what made it through or was missed. If memory serves, this may be the first time I heard "When our Love Passed Out on the Couch". Musically it started slow (with John Doe saying that if there were too many slow songs, we were to blame and having Exene snap back that the slow songs are ok), but it really built and the magic of the X style came through winningly in the end. I was worried that turnout was going to be weak, but it did pack out by the time they played, although the stage was moved forward. There music doesn't quite have that dangerous edge that they had in the day, but maybe that's due to seeing Billy Zoom's constant beatific grin while the dark lyrics are sung. Zoom had a bandage on his forhead, covering his third eye no doubt, but was his usual grinning, affable self spending the time between closer and first encore staying on stage taking photos of the crowd, chatting, shaking hands. He's in his own world, but he's one of the friendliest guys you'll see. Great band, still. Catch them when you can.

Quote of the Night: Steve Soto told the story of the Adolescents first US tour playing the old 9:30 Club with a straight edge band who baffled them when they did stretching before the set, while the only thing the Adolescents stretched was the boundaries of substance use and partying. He then said he'd hang out and exchange war stories by the merch stand. So I did make it over later and chatted with him as I saw that tour in Chicago. He remembered it was with the Bad Brains at the Cabaret Metro. He also remembered them getting stuck in Dayton for a bit and staying with Ed Pittman. I chatted with his guitarist from Dayton even who had the Toxic Reasons first single (I managed Toxic Reasons in 1980 and a bit after). So it was fun rehashing old memories and it is amazing he remembered all the details he did, but that's the way it was for me as well. Good times, challenging, but certainly rewarding now.

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