Social Distortion sold out over 25 shows for a residency of various Southwest House of Blues (“HOB”) venues. Their shows at the HOB Sunset location sold out almost a quickly as they went on sale. I remember when those tickets went on sale … and I remember when I called in to find out that those tickets had sole out… Thankfully, Social Distortion and HOB decided to add additional shows, and I was lucky enough to grab a few tickets!
Based on what I’ve researched, Social Distortion used to do a Southwest residency at a venue once a year, but the last time they did residency was five years ago. Apparently, they’ve been touring relentlessly the past two years domestically and internationally.
I’ll be honest with you… I didn’t grow up listening to punk and rockabilly. I mean, I always knew that Social Distortion were one of the pioneering bands of the Southern California punk rock movement during the late 70s and 80s, but (and I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit it …) it wasn’t until I played “Story of My Life” on Guitar Hero III that I started to really pay attention. When I read that Pearl Jam did a couple of shows with them back in 2009, I really started to pay attention. Hell, if they were good enough for Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready, then it must be good for me!
Mike Ness, the lead vocalist and guitarist, and the only original member of the band, performed with the energy of a rock-and-roller half his age (50). It was a good crowd at the HOB with the pit swirling around with male and female bodies alike.
They played songs I knew and songs I didn’t. Most the crowd was singing along, but even though I didn’t know all of the words by heart, it really didn’t matter. Getting lost in the music, dancing with abandon, in a cloud of some smoke from the hidden doobies people in the crowd were lighting, it was what I would have imagined it was like back in the late 70s and 80s had I gone to a show back then. It was like everyone was immersed in some kind of nostalgic, punk era haze, where nothing mattered except the music. It was a good feeling.
It’s pretty crazy, but even though Social Distortion has been around since 1978, they’ve only released 7 studio albums and 1 live album, and I only have two digital tracks: “Story of My Life” and “Ring of Fire” (by the way, not many artists can cover Johnny Cash and Social Distortion’s recording (and live performance) of “Ring of Fire” is as faithful to the original attitude as it gets.
I think it’s time for me to start buying the albums…. starting with “Mommy’s Little Monster”.