Old school punk rockers, Social Distortion, rolled into San Diego for a pair of shows recently to wrap up their quick tour of North America in support of their most recent release, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes. As one can expect, they did not disappoint their So Cal faithful.
An hour before the show was even to begin, fans lined the streets of downtown, waiting for the doors of the House of Blues to open. Braving the cold (yes, it was 45, but San Diegans are pussies), people of all walks of life could be found. Man, woman, young, old, black, white, etc… All were accounted for. The music of Social Distortion seems to transcend boundaries – good music is good music. And Social Distortion makes damn good music.
At 9:30 when the lights in the venue went dim, just the sight of their hero, front man Mike Ness, drove the anxious crowd into frenzy. The show was started with the first track off their new album; an instrumental called Road Zombie. A real heavy, guitar fused anthem transitioned into the classic, So Far Away.
This was interesting and telling choice to show just how consistent and solid the band’s sound has stayed over the years. Road Zombie coming off their newest album and So Far Away off their self titled release of over 20 years ago. Neither song sounded much different than the other in terms of style and flowed right into each like two pieces of a puzzle fitting together. Hearing that made me smile as I had no idea what to expect next.
Social Distortion played for a solid hour and half spanning their entire library of music. Staples of any Social D show were played – Mommy’s Little Monster, Ball & Chain, Ring of Fire – as well as plenty of new music – California, Can’t Take It With You, and their most recent single, Machine Gun Blues.
Being a fan of the band for over 15 years, every show feels like reuniting with old friends. You can hear the same songs every time, but never complain because they are so good. One thing of which you can complain though, is the in between song banter of Mike Ness. I don’t think I can remember a show that I have seen where Mike didn’t reference ‘the Sunday-nighters’, ‘getting beat up for having a crazy colored hair’, or ‘how the kittens were out tonight’. I’ve seen them play in different cities coast to coast and I have to say, the show banter is exactly the same – every city, every year.
I can’t complain too much, for the band and Mike Ness rank extremely high on the awesome scale. I would go see them anytime, anywhere, no matter what songs were played or what is being said. This show gets a solid 5 out of 5 regardless, tweak the banter (or at least attempt) and the band may break the scale and deserve a 6 out of 5.
A special thank you to Jen of Relentless AM - thanks for everything!
So Far Away
King Of Fools
I Won’t Run No More
Mommy’s Little Monster
Machine Gun Blues
Ball & Chain
Through These Eyes
Sweet & Lowdown
Down Here With The Rest Of Us
Can’t Take It With You
Ring Of Fire
Story Of My Life