Social Distortion / Tiger Army / The Explosion

Social Distortion/Tiger Army/The Explosion: live in Washington, DClive in Washington, DC (2004)
Social Distortion

Reviewer Rating: 4.5

Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

You know, with my 25th birthday lurking around the corner, I tend to get the "old man" syndrome at shows recently. "Bah, too many kids, looked at all those X'd hands, don't stand in front of me, I can't see, quit bumping me...", you get the idea. So where does this ranting tie in? Old people love So.

You know, with my 25th birthday lurking around the corner, I tend to get the "old man" syndrome at shows recently. "Bah, too many kids, looked at all those X'd hands, don't stand in front of me, I can't see, quit bumping me...", you get the idea. So where does this ranting tie in? Old people love Social D. Maybe because unlike most of their companion bands from "back in the day", they have stood the test of time, or maybe its just music old people like.

If I've said it before, I'll say it again, Nations is one of the worst clubs I've been to. You get practically strip-searched at the door, cameras are not allowed (hence no picture), and the bartenders are complete assholes.

Nonetheless, being a high-capacity club, some pretty good shows roll through, and Social Distortion is always going to draw a sell-out (tickets, not attendees) crowd in DC. Add the pyscho-billy stylings of Tiger Army and the rock-you-like-a-hurricane force of the Explosion, and you've got a show almost worthy of the hefty $35 (with service fee) ticket price.

As I entered, the Explosion were starting their set to what appeared to be a somewhat docile crowd. Though large in numbers, the front area crowd was lacking in the audience participation sought-out by Million-Dollar Matt. The sound itself was extremely tight, as old favorites From "Flash, Flash, Flash" meshed well with the newer material from "Black Tape". As I expected, "Here I Am" sounds amazing live, as opposed to its sugary-sweetness of the track on the Black Tape LP. The closing number was naturally "No Revolution", which I will only acknowledge from Flash, Flash, Flash. Let's just hope this song doesn't become the next "Disconnected".

At the conclusion of the Explosion's set, it was time for the obligatory piss/beer/merch stand trip. Climbing down from the Mad-Max-esque 2nd floor cage, I continued to notice the "older side" of punk rock and began to realize that my "old-man" assessment of myself was beginning to appear less accurate than my initial assumption. Sweet. Forging on through the crowd I found myself in sickening amazement of something I had yet to see in the "exclusive" world of punkrock- $30 t-shirts and a "VISA/MasterCard Accepted" sign at the Social Distortion merch table. Also available were $67 hoodies, $25 "Girly tank-tops" and an $8 sticker pack. I gracefully moved down the table line to the Explosion's setup and purchased (by these pricing standards) a frugal $25 Explosion hoodie.

Moving up to Level 3 of Nations' version of the "Hell-In-A-Cell", I perched to catch Tiger Army's set. Like the Explosion, they too offered a crisp sounding set, with a good mixture of songs from Power of Moonlight and Ghost Tigers Rise. The new bassist (I don't keep up with name changes) sounded amazing playing "Prelude: Death Of A Tiger", and though the audience was full of energy for practically the entire performance, the apex was definitely during "Incorporeal". I've always had a bit of a soft spot for Tiger Army, as its hard to deny their ability, or to talk shit about someone like Nick 13, who I have come to dub over the years as "the nicest guy in punkrock. I mean really, how can you not love a guy that never stops smiling and always has a kind word to say? Great set as usual.

Naturally, Mr. Ness loves to build up a crowd's suspense. He makes you wait 7 years for a new album, so you think he's gonna come out on stage in a timely manner. Hell no. But that's ok Mikey, we don't mind drinking while we wait. As Social D eventually took the stage, Mike briefly greeted the crowd, and shot right in "Ring of Fire". From there, the song bridged into the opener from Sex, Love and Rock n Roll, "Reach for the Sky". Naturally the crowd was singing along to every song, both new and old, with the setlist spanning the band's entire career. Classics like "Mommy's Little Monster", "Sick Boys", "Cold Feelings" and "When She Begins" mingled naturally with newer tunes like "Don't Take Me For Granted" and "Highway 101". The only missing item from the set was the lack of tracks from White Light, White Heat, White Trash. If my memory serves me correctly, and I wasn't too drunk to remember accurately, the only track from the album was their cover of the Rolling Stones' "Under My Thumb". I left during the second song of the "encore" (that term gets looser and looser everyday), "Story of My Life", which Mike proclaimed would be the last song, so I may have missed something else. But I wanted to escape the soon-to-transpire calamity and clusterfuck in the wallet-raping $10 parking lot before the masses began their departure.

In closing, would I recommend this show? Sure, its a nice break from the current "show scene", and it could be your last chance to see a true music legend.


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
JJVanhorn (November 9, 2004)

I went to the show in Indianapolis. and the Explosion didn't play. I liked Tiger Army and of course Soc. D kicked ass! After the show i got Ness's autograph.

Anonymous (October 26, 2004)

The funny thing about this is that if you replace "Washington" by "Toronto" the review still works PERFECTLY.. I'm serious, I thought you were reviewing the Toronto show, and I agree completely.

jeff024punk (October 23, 2004)

im 21 and i dont even get in the pits anymore.. not cuz i cant handle it or anything but unless i'm totally coked up i'd rather just drink and enjoy the band.. and even that i dont even find myself at shows much cuz in socal i'm definitly the oldest kid there or one them. everyone is like 15 these days except for a social d show. i'm used to being the youngest kid at shows and now its all changed so i guess i'm getting the old man syndrome when it comes to this scene kinda early, or maybe just that some of things that the older people dont really care for are because we grew up.. oh well.

Anonymous (October 22, 2004)

Im 38 sickboi and this was a brilliant show....... But i know how you feel-oldpunker-

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

Yeah, like someone said. Old Man Syndrome is relative. At local shows, I feel O-L-D. At Rise Against at BB King's, not so. More folks my age (on a Sunday night in jan.).

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

I hate all of you. It's shi that everyone gets to see The Explosion except for us going to this show in CA. So you better get to the show early to pay respects to them because they tear it up.

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

I think you have to be old to like Social D.

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

You are only as old as you feel. I'm about to turn forty and I still go to shows. My 15 year old daughter has been raiding my record collection for a few years now and I started taking her to shows last summer. We play music in the basement together with my other kids. My point is, age doesnt really matter if you enjoy what youre doing. See you in the pit....er....seats.(I dont feel THAT young).-Todd in NH Go Sox!

poopypants (October 21, 2004)

The old man syndrome isn't as bad at shows where the crowd is older. At the Pittsburgh social D show i actually felt kinda young, at 24 no less. At the Alk3 show earlier this summer, I had old man sydnrome bad. I'd say the average age at a trio show is now 17 or so.

Anonymous (October 21, 2004)

i'm 25 and i'm getting this disease you guys are getting. i used to get in the pit a lot but now i'll do it maybe a few times during a show.

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

man, Im 33 and still going to shows. I saw social d last week in NYC and didnt feel too out of place but my girlfriend did. She's never been to a punk show before and boy was she shocked. Going to see Bad Reglion and Rise Against this weekend so hopefully the old man syndrome wont be there too bad. The place Im going to actually has an over 21 section so might not be too bad.

looczar (October 20, 2004)

Oh yeah! What about Matt Freeman playing with Social D?! How was THAT? Guess I'll have to wait and see fer myself...

looczar (October 20, 2004)

SO EXCITED to see this lineup!

Although... I just broke up with my girlfriend of 6yrs...That I bought a house with, so it's pretty nasty. As close to a divorce as I ever want to have. I mean shit! It involves paperwork and hatred! Anypoop, it's that fucked up stage where she turns up at EVERY SHOW where a band is playing that I introduced her to!!! So I'll probably see that bitch at this one too... Talk about "old man syndrome"!!! Mortgages and Exes!!! Argh!

On the "old man syndrome", I remember a couple of years ago being at a show at the 9:30 Club in DC, watching the Swingin Utters open for some less-worthy headliner (No Use for a Name, I think)... I was raising my beer and singing along to their song, "Untitled 21" with some drunk dude next to me... After the song I noticed we were the only two people over the age of 16 in the entire crowd surrounding us! Man, these punk rock shows are NOT the way to feel younger, but they sure do make ya feel GODDAMN GOOD!

poopypants (October 20, 2004)

Nick told the Pittsburgh crowd last night that we were way better than their last few crowds. in your face DC.

joeg (October 20, 2004)

"though the audience was full of energy for practically the entire performance"

i was there. the crowd, except for the last few songs, was not that energetic. nick kept on asking "hey dc, you still with us?" while the only cheers would come from the bassist saying "who's ready to see social distortion?"

poopypants (October 20, 2004)

I started getting old man syndrome around 22. quit moshing, look down on the trendy young kids (was I really like that back then?) hang out in the bar. I prefer it. I find myself enjoying the music more now than when i was a teen wanting to stage dive, mosh and such.

So I saw this show in Pittsburgh last night. Amazing. All Social D played from white light was 'under my thumb' at the pburgh show too. they closed the encore w/ 'story of my life' also. Explosion was pretty good live, but I just can't get to into this type of punk rock anymore. 5 years ago I would have loved it, hell even 3 or 4 years ago. All their shit sounds the same to me after a bit.

Tiger army ruled, damn they play their shit much faster live. They played never die, outlaw thorn or whatever thats called and nocturnal which was cool to see thme bust out some 'old ones'. the new shit was better sped up. santa carla, rose of the devils, ghostfire, and wander all sounded good w/ a shot of energy thrown in thats missing from the album. cupids victim and incorporeal however, may have benefitted from being slowed down a pinch.

Mike Ness at 40 is still cool as shit. He is cooler than you. He is cooler than me. He knows it too I think.

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

Dont worry about the "old man syndrome". I turned 30 last year & still go to shows all the time.

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

I'm 27... last concert I visited was a Good Riddance Concert in Amsterdam (Netherlands) with an avarage age of 16 or something....SHIT!!!!

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

old man syndrome?

jesus christ, i turned 21 a week ago and i already feel like i'm a fucking old man at shows. for the first time in my life i'm looking forward to 21 shows, never thought i'd say that...

Anonymous (October 20, 2004)

Holy shit, I don't even wanna know how much the hoodies are gonna be in Canada...


ThreeChordsAndTheTruth (October 20, 2004)

they played your theme sickboi!

joeg (October 20, 2004)

i'm in my 20's too and i've had the old man syndrome for some time now. eh, it won't stop me from going to shows.

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

i dont understand how ANYONE charges so much money for merch. Who honestly buys this shit?

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

Good review. I'm 28. I think I've had the syndrome for some time now, but I just keep going. It's too hard to stop. What the fuck is my alternative anyways? Radio fests?
Mr. Kenzington

TheOneTrueBill (October 19, 2004)

October 30!

maverick (October 19, 2004)

No worries, Chris. Honestly, there was very minimal tweaking I had to do to your review, so I just took it out.


sickboi (October 19, 2004)

The original disclaimer was aimed at readers, not the staff, just thought I'd let you know.

jamespastepunk (October 19, 2004)

Does EVERYONE in their twenties get old man syndrome when they go to a show?

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

VISA/MasterCard Accepted? shit thats punk.. But i don't care i'm still seeing them when they come to toronto. good review. this score is for tiger army mutha fuckas.

Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

i was at a Rise Against show last tuesday in Sauget, IL and that's where i got the old syndrome feeling and im only 21--maybe its cuz im drinking. anyways hte rise against show was $1 and they played for an hour and a half. it was a pretty sick show


Anonymous (October 19, 2004)

that 1st paragraph reminds me of myself on saturday during the briefs, before they got offstage and all the 15 year olds went the fuck home so d4 could blow the roof off the place. i can't fuckin wait for 10/26 when social d blows through my town.

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