Social Distortion – [Live]

Monday, 21 February 2011

Having just released their seventh studio album,  punk rock legends Social Distortion returned to the Bay Area for the first time in almost two years to play back to back sold out shows at San Francisco's Warfield Theater earlier this month and proved they are still a force to be reckoned with.

Opening the show with “Road Zombie,” the guitar driven instrumental on the just released Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, it quickly became apparent that Mike Ness meant business. He may have been wearing a suit and tie, but his trademark Goldtop Les Paul was already on fire. “So Far Away,” “I Won't Run No More” and “Sweet and Lowdown” all followed, and judging from the reaction of the sold out crowd (as well as the amount of crowd surfers) coming over the barricade, this was already shaping up to be a SD show for the ages; and we were only twenty minutes in.

With now long-time members Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham on guitar and Brent Harding on bass, along with new drummer David Hidalgo, Jr., Social Distortion ripped through almost two hours of SoCal punk rock. “Mommy's Little Monster,” “Sick Boy,” “Ball and Chain” and “Cold Feelings” all sounded great as usual, while new songs “Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown,” “Alone and Forsaken”  and “Can't Take It With You” rounded out a set list that boasted a nice balance between new and old. Ness looked and sounded great, and really seemed to be enjoying himself up on stage.

Of course no Social Distortion set would be complete with out “Ring Of Fire” and “Story Of My Life,” and by the time the band wrapped up this second night at the Warfield with those two songs, I left telling myself that there is just no way I can miss them when they play the Soundwave Festival in Australia during the next couple of weeks.


Raymond Ahner's photo essay of Social Distortion's performance at The Warfield on February 4, 2011



Social Distortion Daytrotter Session

Further Reading:

Social Distortion – Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes – CD review on Ground Control


Social Distortion is currently embarked on a World Tour with stops in the US, Australia, the UK and Europe. For a complete listing of shows, click here .


Hard Times And Nursery Rhymes
is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .


Social Distortion – [Live]

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

After opening over eighty years ago, The Fox Theater shut its doors in the mid 1960s, and had pretty much just sat abandoned in downtown Oakland for nearly forty years. But after close to ten years and 75 million dollars worth of renovation, The Fox Theater re-opened its doors and exposed its amazing new interior on this evening, and Orange County's Social Distortion were hand picked to christen the stage for a one-off, non-tour show. And quite honestly, I could not have picked a better band myself.

As soon as front man Mike Ness swaggered out onto the stage I knew this was going to be a bit different Social D gig. Perhaps it's because the band is not currently on tour—as they are in the studio recording a new album—but everyone, Ness especially, seemed incredibly relaxed, and they all looked like they just wanted to have fun and give the fans something special on this already special night. And that is exactly what they proceeded to do.

With a set list that included everything from "When She Begins," "Don't Drag Me Down." "Bad Luck." to "Mommy's Little Monster" and "Ball And Chain," and "Prison Bound," just to name a few, Social Distortion ripped through over 90 minutes of old school Orange County style no frills punk rock. It was also nice to see Mr. Ness engaging the crowd with a lot of in-between-song banter, especially before "Bakersfield," and it almost gave the performance more of a rehearsal feel than and actual show.

And as the band returned to the stage and launched into an absolutely blistering version of "Ring Of Fire," (but not before the organ/keyboard player pointed to his Cramps T-shirt and then pointed to the sky as a tribute to Lux Interior), I was so glad I was able to witness this historic event, because the combination of Social Distortion and a spectacular new concert venue made it a night to remember.


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