Show Review: 630

Kansas City, MO (May 3, 2011) Social Distortion, the Orange County, CA punk masters invaded the Beaumont Club in Kansas City’s Westport district on Tuesday night and proceeded to blow the roof off the joint and took no prisoners. The capacity crowd was treated to a blistering set that began with the instrumental track "Road Zombie" which also opens their latest release on Epitaph Records, "Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.” Playing a generous cross-section of their catalog that spans 30 years, Social Distortion, was tight as a pair of matador pants, struck gold with honest to goodness, American rock-n-roll. Many fans were seeing their favorite band for the first time, such as my son, Justin. At 10 years old he was far the youngest person in the house. At one point, Ness invited a youngster onstage who was 4. Ness took a knee and asked the next generation rocker who his favorite band was. The boy pointed to his parents. Delivering the goods was Mike Ness, Guitar and Lead Vocals – Jonny “Two Bags” Wickersham, Guitar and Vocals – Brent Harding, Bass and Vocals – Dave Hidalgo, Jr., Drums – and rounding out the sound was Dan Mc Gough, Keyboards. Mc Gough’s piano lines on “Prison Bound” gave an added depth to an already solid iconic masterpiece. As all good things must come to an end, I knew it was getting close when Ness asked the well worked over crowd if they wanted to hear a story. Of course we did! I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels, the autobiographical, “Story of My Life,” from their self titled 1990 release, was taken from our own life story. The relatable lyric is like a window into the past. No Social Distortion performance would be complete without their nod to the man in black. They make Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” their very own. I’m sure wherever Cash lies in rest he is smiling when he hears these punks from So-Cal play this ode to the fiery ring! Sharks, a young punk band from England opened the triple bill with a quick tempo 25 minute set. Chuck Ragan was in the middle slot. Ragan brought a unique sound, think of a cross between “Greeting from Asbury Park” era Bruce Springsteen and a pissed off Tom Waits with a fiddle and string bass thrown in as an accompaniment to Ragan’s acoustic guitar. Partial Set List (from memory) Road Zombie Bad Luck Ball and Chain Sick Boy Mommies Little Monster Reach for the Sky So Far Away Machine Gun Blues King of Fools Bakersfield Gimme That Sweet and Lowdown Making Believe Prison Bound Story of My Life Ring of Fire