Written by Abel Carmona
Aug 29, 2006 at 08:00 PM
X  / Rollins Band   8-28-06

ImageIf you were a young punk between the late 70s and 80s. Than this was your night to come out and relive your youth. As two of punk / rocks Icons took the stage at the Meridian Monday night with their “As The World Burns” tour was X and the Rollins Band. These two groups helped kept their genre of music alive in a time when punk was being pushed to the side by hair metal bands. And also helped to inspire a new genre of punk / rock that has fought their way back from being held down by mainstream rock of today.
* Opening that night was The River Boat Gamblers

Rollins band

Walking on stage in his trademark black shorts and no shirt, Henry Rollins and the Rollins band came out in force. As soon as the first strike of the drums, Rollins showed he still has it now just as he had it then. Attacking the crowd with a verbal assault that brought his lyrics to the full attention of all that were in attendance.

Rollins never stopped but for maybe a second or two between songs to wipe the sweet from his eyes. As he pounded the stage with his feet and seemingly forced every word out as he flexed neck and slammed his body downward. Rollins truly shows his passion for singing to his fans and giving them all he has to give.

Watching him on stage brought back memories of high school as that was the last time I had seen the Rollins Band. Way back in 1994 when the Tower Theater was still around on Westhimer.  At that time they were touring for the “Weight” Album and starting to get some airplay on radio and even having a few videos on MTV.

Ever since the break up of Black Flag in1986, which Rollins fronted from 1981 – 86 Henry Rollins has not stopped making music. Almost immediately after Black Flag, Rollins made two solo records before creating the Rollins Band. Soon after they started pushing out albums like clockwork from 1988 – 92 including  “Lifetime”, “Do It”, “Hard Volume”, “Turned On” and the “End of Silence”.

Although the Rollins Band has seen several line up changes over the years one thing has remained the same. The music that has been put out by Rollins Band has always been true to its roots. Keeping their fans in bliss with the hardcore punk sound that changed not only the early southern California music scene, but also the way most people view punk as a genre.

As the Rollins Band went through their set they played most of the crowd favorites from all their albums. Including “Liar”, “Disconnect”, “Civilized” and even a few old Black Flag songs were thrown in to the set. I though they gave a great show as I said before Rollins still brings it like he was 18 years old doing Black Flag shows hard, heavy, and one of the most powerful stage presents I have ever seen in any performer.

Its also been said that there is a chance of a new album being recorded after this tour. So depending on the way things go in the next few months we may be hearing some new music from a Man who has spent more than 20 years working in music, starting his own spoken word tours, and having his own talk show. Which has made him one of the most recognizable figures in media today.


ImageBefore X started playing guitarist Billy Zoom came out to do some last minute tuning to his guitar. He seemed to take in the fans excitement and couldn’t help but smile at the cries of “We Love You Billy” being shouted at him. Not long after he was joined by John Doe, D.J. Bonebrake and of course Exene Cervenka.

Coming on stage to an enormous obviation as one of the great U.S. punk groups of all time. Long before punk became pop and true punk bands are now spread so thin now a days. That when people are given the chance to see punk icon X comes around. You don’t sit home and say “Oh I’ll wait till they come back some other time”. Most fans knew there may not be another time and seemed as if they had been waiting years to see a group that was a main stay of their youth.

And as the first song started you would have thought you were in back in the 1980 Los Angeles old school punk scene. Seeing that they were playing a club show just like the old days. There seemed to be a small problem with an amp for Doe’s bass during the second song, which was fixed pretty quickly.

X wasn’t a band I had listened to a lot of back in the day and although I had heard a few tracks from various albums. I didn’t truly know their music until hearing it live this night. They have a very punk sound but with some jazz and blues thrown in giving them an interesting sound all their own. Zoom’s guitar playing also hints at a rockabilly sound at times during some of his solos. Making this one of the most unique bands I have ever heard.

There were a few times during the set that Exene looked a little lost on her lyrics during a song or two but, seemed to pick things back up and keep on going with the show. Seeing as X has been doing this for 20 plus years I would think she would be dead on with every song, but there may have been other factors that night as well.
During that 20 years X has redefined their sound with almost every album that has been released. Even stepping into the country genre for a little while as The Knitters which was X minus Billy Zoom. Also both Exene and John Doe have had solo projects, as well as Doe’s acting roles in movies and TV shows.

Even though X hasn’t released a new album since 1993, the fans couldn’t get enough of them.  As the set went on X looked as they were truly enjoying them selves on stage playing songs that had most singing along and dancing. In today’s world of big lights, big production, big venue shows. It was nice to take a step back and relive what was some of these fans youth and essentially see what they already knew, a great band that only needed one letter to tell the world who they were,  X