Of course I mean the Australian XX from Australia

If you aren’t friends with Steve Lucas of X on Facebook, you probably don’t know the drama behind the band’s first tour of the U.S. in 33 years. Apparently Lucas has a herniated disk in his spine, causing him great pain when he sits for long periods of time, like when flying cross country or riding for hours in a van.

By touring, Lucas is ignoring doctor’s orders, which usually isn’t the best idea. On May 28, he wrote:

“I have been advised to end the tour. I was advised not to take it on. I am now being told I am in need of surgery as the real option. I would have to come home… defeated. The longer I stay seated (as in a bus for hours upon end) I increase the level of damage.”

But yet the tour continues.

I was lucky to catch the band and record it on a day that appeared to be kind to Lucas — they only had to drive from Sacramento to San Francisco, about a two-hour drive.

There were a few missed notes and a few forgotten changes, but for a majority of the set X brought the same energy captured on their early recordings. By the time they reached their 16th song, “Mother” (which they’ve taken off their set for the remaining shows), the band and the crowd was spent — you can hear it in the recording. But up until that point, they had the crowd dancing and singing along.

Sadly, a few friends talked to me the day after the show and when asking me about X’s set, they always added the caveat, “I heard they suck.” In this music scene, word-of-mouth is everything and bullshit-criticism like that spreads like a virus. Hopefully that crap hasn’t been affecting their shows.

Heed my advice: listen to the recordings below and then, if you live in the Bay Area, go to the shows on June 5 & 6, because you’ll probably never get a chance to see such an amazing, influential band again.

*First two songs don’t have the best guitar sound; make sure to listen to #3 and on as I fixed the mic by then.

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