“Social D is up next. Hell fucking yeah y’all.” —-Lucero lead singer/guitarist Ben Nichols.
Hell fucking yeah, indeed. For
more than two hours an hour and 45 minutes last night, Mike Ness and his band Social Distortion shook the sold-out crowd at the 9:30 Club to its core. Still as agile and sharply dressed at 48 as he was at 31 17 when he started Social D, Ness led his band and the crowd through much of the Social D discography, playing tracks from 1981’s 1983’s Mommy’s Little Monster up through 1996’s White Light, White Heat, White Trash, and a few from Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes, due in January.
The person who concocted the opening bands for this Social Distortion tour should be sainted. How utterly brilliant to include Lucero, one of the current kings of well-written punkabilly, with Social Distortion, the band wrote most of the chapters, if not the whole book, on the topic. It was a tad surreal to see Lucero play the 9:30, and I wondered if they weren’t feeling the same. While they played a solid set as always, they didn’t seem as relaxed as usual. Then again, “usual” tends to be clubs that are small, dark, and boozy, with no barricades between band and crowd.
Frank Turner, a Brit with an unabashed love of American punk bands, set the pace for the evening with his energetic and lively set. As he sings in his song, “Photosynthesis,” Now I’ll play and you sing/The perfect way for the evening to begin, it most certainly was.
Go here to see more photos from all of the sets.