TVD Live Shots: Social Distortion with Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets at the House of Blues, 12/12

On a chilly evening in Anaheim, Social Distortion turned up the heat in front of thousands of rabid fans at the world-famous House of Blues. Mike Ness and company blew the doors off the joint with a 17-song set that had the capacity crowd singing, dancing, and moshing all-night long. It’s what one would expect at a Social D show, and highlighted why this band is so beloved and appreciated here in the OC.

For many, Social D is the epitome of the local punk rock scene in OC. Most shows are sold out immediately and fans wait for hours to grab rail positions in order to be up close and personal with Mike Ness and the boys. Well, that script got flipped on Monday night—for the very first time, I was front and center for my first Social Distortion show. Let’s dig in.

Opening the night was a killer band from So Cal called Greg Antista & The Lonely Streets. From the jump, their set was raucous and upbeat, priming the pump for the headliners which were about an hour and a half from liftoff. As Greg Antista took the stage with a huge grin, I knew the set would be special—and it ended up being that and a whole lot more. The band as a whole killed their set with a reckless abandon, rarely seen from openers. Closing my eyes, the band had a Ramones type of sound that l really loved. I’ll definitely be digging into this band more in the not-so-distant future and recommend you do the same.

Now on to the pièce de resistance, Social Distortion. I have never witnessed one of their shows live and quite frankly had no idea what to expect entering the HOB. As lights dimmed, the capacity crowd surged forward as the band finally hit the stage, kicking off the show with the 1990 classic, “So Far Away.” As I turned to watch the reaction of the audience, it was sheer pandemonium unfolding with screams of joy, crowd surfing, and the occasional beer being thrown high into the air. This show was already at an “11” and we had just gotten started. I was beginning to see what these cats were all about, and I was digging it.

Over the next few hours, Social Distortion put on a clinic for their faithful with a 17-song set that included “Machine Gun Blues” and “Don’t Drag Me Down”—which were incredible—but didn’t hold a candle to the encore which included “Born to Kill,” “Ball and Chain,” and one of my all-time favorite songs, “Ring of Fire.” Throughout the evening, I was mesmerized by Ness’s voice and the obvious intense connection he has with fans. It left me wanting more (when the dust finally settled) and their incredible performance underscored why this band is so beloved here in Southern California and throughout the punk-rock scene. I’d give my first Social D show 2-thumbs up and I’m looking forward to another one down the line.


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