Setlist History: X's First-Known Setlist

The earliest known show by LA punk pioneers, X, complete with a setlist, happened April 13, 1979.

Exene Cervenka, John Doe, Billy Zoom, and DJ Bonebrake performed at the mysterious Rikki's in Los Angeles on Friday the 13th some 43 years ago. Rikki's is mysterious because there's no apparent trace of it on the Internet other than a bootleg recording of this gig which also included the Latino punk trio, The Plugz.

X in 1979 – By George Rose, Los Angeles Times/UCLA Archives

Until an even older setlist appears, all the songs in this set should be considered live debuts, technically, despite the fact the band began two years before this show.

What makes this X set fascinating is how few songs from the band's landmark first album, Los Angeles, appear in this show. Of the eight tunes they played that night, just three ("Johnny Hit And Run Pauline," "Your Phone's Off the Hook, But You're Not," and The Doors cover "Soul Kitchen") are from their 1980 release, produced by Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek.

The majority of the set is from X's sophomore album, Wild Gift, which dropped the following year and was also produced by Manzarek.

Of note, none of the songs X played that night clock in at over three minutes. In fact "Back 2 The Base," a tune the long-running band has only played 33 times in their 300+ shows with documented setlists, is a lean minute-and-a-half.

X is currently wrapping up their April tour around California with two remaining gigs in Menlo Park. Later this summer they play with the English Beat. Tickets available on X's website.

x at rikki's

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Last updated: 26 Sep 2023, 08:02 Etc/UTC