Social Distortion as Strong as Ever

Social Distortion
Mike Ness, lead singer of Social Distortion, has been the only constant member of the band for over 30 years. (Heather Spellacy/Foghorn)

Why I continually insist on wearing flats to concerts only to wake up the next day to black and blue feet and cut up ankles is beyond me. While this masochism is all in the name of fashion, last night’s Social Distortion show will definitely make me think twice before leaving the house again with my feet exposed.

The band is currently on tour to promote their new album, “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes,” their first release in over six years. When news broke that they’d be stopping by the Warfield in downtown San Francisco for two nights, the band quickly sold out both shows, resulting in a venue packed to the brim. This full venue meant plenty of flannel and tattooed skin for my personal viewing pleasure, and the crowd definitely didn’t disappoint.

Social Distortion, a punk band out of Fullerton, California, has been together since the late 70s. Experimenting with different sounds throughout their tenure as a band, the new album is a breath of fresh air, leaving the gritty hard punk behind for a purer rock ’n’ roll sound with a hint of blues and country thrown in. Mike Ness, the band’s lead singer and only consistent member, has produced a true gem with “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.”

As Social Distortion took the Warfield stage to a sea of cheering fans the energy in the room was truly palpable. Their set list was the perfect mix of old and new, and Ness was sure to make the show interesting for the crowd. Inviting on stage a few backup vocalists to aid Ness is singing “California,” a bluesy track from their new album, was the perfect touch.

Half way through the band’s set, the lead singer called for two young kids to be brought on stage. After chatting with them for a minute of so Ness asked the boys who their favorite band was. After a brief pause one of the boys responded with a dumbfounded look, “You guys.” The crowd erupted in applause as they left the stage and Ness began to play.

Ending their set with “Story of My Life,” a hit from their 1990 self-titled album, resulted in monstrous applause. It was one of their best live shows I have seen to date, and from the smiles on the other concert-goer’s faces, it was the same for them as well.

Editor-in-Chief: Heather Spellacy

Chief Copy-Editor: Natalie Cappetta

Scene Editor: Tamar Kuyumjian

2 thoughts on “Social Distortion as Strong as Ever

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