Concert Review – Social Distortion

Rock and roll review under the fold if you like.

Tuesday I saw Social Distortion here in Madison at the Orpheum theater. It has been a very long time indeed since I have seen a real live rock show.

Sx Dx is one of my favorite all time bands going way back. They have always been on my short list to see live, so when I saw that they were coming to Madison I was thrilled. Not so thrilled that it was on a weeknight and me having to go to work on 4 hours of sleep, but I just don’t care. Had to go. I will deal with the lack of sleep later.

I was meeting some folks at the show so I got there around 7.15 – the show was supposed to start at 8 and surprisingly, started a bit early. I met my crew and we had a nice conversation while the two warmup bands were doing their deal. The first warmup band, Suedehead was like an Oasis clone that sucked more (believe it or not). Pretty lukewarm reception.

The next band was Chuck Ragan. It was a trio that had a guitar, violin and upright bass and did that Irish rock thing. Not my deal, but the crowd sure did like them.

I should add that at the first notes of the opening band I realized that I forgot something at home – my earplugs. Damn. I am getting old and just can’t handle the volume of these shows anymore. I had to laugh because just 20 short years ago I was the first idiot up front and stage diving and all that insane behavior.

Social Distortion came on with a rousing roar from the crowd that was well lubed by that time, and a huge cloud of marijuana smoke enveloped everyone. I hadn’t smelled that odor in a long time indeed and laughed.

I was stone sober having to work the next day, so it was interesting to notice the drunk and disorderly behavior of the crowd. The crowd was interesting to say the least. Many had that fifties greaser/mod look that Mike Ness has made a living out of for so long. A lot of the ladies looked like pinups with tattoos, always a good combination in my book.

I lasted two songs and couldn’t take the sonic level anymore, and had to excuse myself to the foyer and watched the rest of the Sx Dx show from there. I could still see the band perfectly and the volume was cut in half which was about perfect for me.

The sound was dialed in wonderfully from back there (not far from the sound guy, of course) and I enjoyed the show immensely. It was good to see Mike Ness looking better than he has in the past. His voice is still in one piece too. I have seen some live clips of Sx Dx on youtube where he is a bit hoarse.

Ness did a bit of politicking as most artists tend to do these days, and as expected it was for the Dems blah blah. I didn’t let it ruin my good time.

I highly recommend catching these guys if they come close to your area if you are a fan. The song “Bakersfield” was my favorite of the night, along with the classic “I Was Wrong“.

I am going to suffer a bit today from lack of sleep, but it was definitely worth it.

Cross posted at LITGM.

2 thoughts on “Concert Review – Social Distortion”

  1. You’re probably aware of it, but Mike Ness has a couple of pretty good solo albums out. They’re a departure from Social D, but I think Ness does a solid job on them. And I still like that guys voice a lot, especially on these semi-countrified bacon grease songs.

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