We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Success! You're on the list.

During their sold-out show at the Fillmore Silver Spring Tuesday night, Social Distortion frontman Mike Ness was contemplative.

“I never dreamed I’d get this far. I wasn’t your stereotypical punk,” he said.


There’s a lot of truth to that. Touring behind the 25th anniversary of their self-titled release, Ness and his band introduced a whole new kind of cool to the music world with that record. It wasn’t just straight punk or rock songs, it had blues and country elements mixed in too, immediately spawning a new genre with their greaser-cool look and sound. Playing the record from start to finish, the songs still sounded as fresh as when they first jumped out of speakers in 1990, and Ness’ nasal snarl is still as strong.

Ness also payed homage to some of the influences on that record, ending the show with covers of “Alone and Foresaken” by Hank Williams, “Wild Horses” by the Rolling Stones, and “Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash. And while the band had played the record in order, they left one track off for the very end of the night in order to bring the house down properly: Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Mike Ness and Social Distortion are older and more distinguished now, but non-stereotypical punks they remain.

See photos from the show in the gallery.