Show Review: 638

It’s been a few years since I’ve seen Social Distortion so the Stone Pony was the perfect venue to see Mike and the crew tear a whole in the evening sky. Opening acts the Sharks and Chuck Ragan were a great compliment to the overall vibe of the venue. The highlight for me was hearing the Sharks rip through a fantastic cover of the Replacement’s "I Can’t Wait". Make no mistake though… there was only one band we were all there to see, and the chants of ‘Social D’ went out loud and clear when the second opener Chuck Ragan exited the stage. As Social D took the the stage to the voracious strains of "Road Zombie" Mr Ness himself was conspicuously absent. Not to worry…. 2 minutes into the song MIke took to the stage dressed in full-on 30s era gangster attire. With fedora dipped low over his eyes and a long trench coat that could easily conceal a Tommy Gun mike strode to the front of the stage and gave the crowd a long hard look. After disposing of his trench coat and strapping on his Les Paul Gold Top the mayhem began. For the guitar geeks like myself I can tell you Mike’s ax is set-up with P90s and he runs it through what appeared to be a modified vintage Bassman and Marshall 4×12 cab. Definitely explains how he gets that razor sharp bite to his tone. The set was not only filled with classics like "Prison Bound" "Ball and Chain" and "Story of my Life", but contained a healthy dose of cuts from the new album such as "Bakersfield" and "Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown". One of the cooler moments for me was seeing the band do a stripped down version of "Reach for the Sky". It’s amazing to see a band as powerful as Social D deconstruct one of there songs and change its sonic landscape. Even more amazing is the energy that Mr Ness throws off when he is on stage. Being the same age as Mike I find it incredible that he rips it up to sold out shows night after night and never misses a beat. But then again… that is what great rock & roll is all about!