Show Review: 480

What a special night. Paid $40 for my ticket and dropped another $20 in the bucket but left feeling like a million bucks! Missed Japanese motors but really dug The Black Tibetans, must check out one of their shows. Vandals are always fun but I am, if nothing else, a Social Distortion fan. Before the boys came out Mike joined Jay Thomas, Shane Trulin and Jesse on stage. They spoke to the crowd and thanked everyone and each other for coming out, it was a truly beautiful moment. Jay seems like the sweetest guy in the world and one can see why he seems to have about 10,000 friends. It was inspiring to see someone who suffered one of the worst setbacks a person can be faced with so positive and upbeat. Now that everyone was either crying or had a huge lump in their throat, it was time for some Punk! Opened up with "The Creeps" which is my favorite way to kick of a Social D show, followed that with "Another State…" and "MLM". Adam Willard’s power really brought these songs back to there raw origins. Loved, loved Charlie but if he can’t be here I can’t think of a cooler replacement than Adam. He brought tons of energy. First time I’ve heard "Winners and Losers" live , my definite fave from "SL&RR" and "Can’t Take it With You" which was awesome, lot’s of great piano by Dan. Seemed to be even more keyboard than in recent shows. Cool to see the band always evolving with out losing an once of the past. Very catchy new tune "Still Alive" I believe. Mike said he went up to NoCal for two weeks to write and just ended up watching a lot of TV. Comforting to know the King Of Orange County is a procrastinator just like the rest of us. But in the end he came up with what sounds like a great new single. Highlight for me was Mike bringing out his teenage son Julian to play guitar on "Ball and Chain". I figured, "cool, this kid’s gonna strum some rhythm". Much to my surprise he played lead and killed a couple of fantastic solos. It was really nice to see Mike as the proud Papa, especially since his childhood didn’t sound like an ideal one. Closed with a raucous, even for Social D, "Ring of Fire". (Played a few others, "Sometimes…", "Alone and Forsaken", "Reach for the Sky" and one or two others.) I’ve been to a hundred or so Social D/Mike Ness shows but never one as emotional as this. The band is at the height of their powers and while so many bands mail it in(so I’ve heard, I only go to Social D shows.) it’s really inspiring to see Mike become an even better guitarist with each performance, writing new music and make the old stuff sound so fresh. Social D shows, especially in OC feel like a community, one that ranges in age from 16-60 and people from all walks of life. Add to that Mike’s son playing with the band and the fact that it was a benefit for Jay and the crowd was about 90% his friends and family. It was a really inspiring and intimate evening I felt lucky to be a very small part of. Great show, great band, great cause. Get well Jay!