Social Distortion - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

Social Distortion

live in Chicago (2002)

live show

First off, let me get the obvious out of the way... This show was the legendary Social Distortion's triumphunt return to the midwest after a 5 year absence. This was the third of three sold out nights at the House Of Blues. Now onto the actual review.

The time on the ticket said the show started at 6:30. Unfortunatly, it didn't start untill at least 7:35. The opening band, Lost City Angels, came on. They seemed OK at first, but as their 30 minute set wore on, they grew tiring, never deviating from the same, mid-tempo pop-punkish songs. Not very impressive, but I wasn't there to see them... I was there to see Mike Ness and crew.

One thing I noticed during the wait for Social D to play was that I (being 16 years old) was one of the youngest people there. There were many people drinking on the floor, and this lead to some idiots, some fun people, and overall a good vibe. Finally, the curtain seperated and Social D took the stage. Charlie Quintana (drummer) first, then John Maurer (bassist), then Johnny Twobags Wickersham (rhythm guitar), and finally Mike Ness (everything). All the drinking going on before led to the floor being very slippery, with all the old guys trying to slam with a beer still in hand... needless to say this didnt work and all the beer was spilled right away.

They started off playing a block of all old school songs, from Mommy's Little Monster and the various compilations. After about 5 of the old school songs, 3 new songs right in a row were played. "Don't Take me for Granted" a tribute to the late great Dennis Danell, "Angel's Wings" a song about how anyone can bring a child onto this earth, but only a few can raise him/her the right way, and "I Wasn't Born To Follow". Before "Angel's Wings," Mike looked for the youngest kid there. I thought I had a chance for this, but he ended up pulling a very shy 7 year old named Peter. He talked to Peter for awhile on stage, about how kids like him were the future and we need to look out for them. The kid even got a free hat, some CDs, and his picture taken with the band. One lucky bastard that kid is. After this, the band concentrated on material from their Self-Titled album and Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell. This is where the majority of the set list came from, with only one song each from Prison Bound and White Light, White Heat, White Trash. "Story of My Life" was the final song of the first set, and the band left the stage for about 2 minutes. A chant of "SOCIAL D! SOCIAL D!" went on solidly the entire time, only growing stronger with time. The band came back, thanked us, played an encore, then left the stage for good.

This was a strange show for me... almost every other show I've ever been to was dominated by kids my age, or around my age. This was not the case at all. I was slamming, singing along, and in pogo lines with guys twice my age. There was a very unifed vibe going around. It didn't matter how old you were, or how big you were (some of these guys had obviously let go and gotten a beer belly), we were all united in our love for the music. All in all it was one of, if not the best, show of my life.

Here's the set list... I remebered the order as best I could, but it might not be completely accurate.

Mommy's Little Monster
Lude Boy
Mass Hysteria
Telling Them
I Wasn't Born to Follow
Angel's Wings
Don't Take Me for Granted
Prison Bound
Cold Feelings
Bad Luck
Sick Boys
Story Of My Life

99 to Life
Don't Drag Me Down
Ball and Chain
Ring of Fire