Punk rock icons Social Distortion, more commonly referred to as “Social D,” played a sold out show in Austin at Stubb’s on November 18, 2010. Sure, it was not the original Social D most of us listen to on record or grew up with, but frontman and guitarist Mike Ness was all the enthusiastic crowd needed. For many it was a dream come true and a miracle even, to see Mike Ness perform after his mid-eighties legal troubles and battles with drug addiction.
That night Stubb’s was one big mosh pit for the most part, as is any good punk rock show. Already having been well warmed up with the punk-folk stylings of Frank Turner and Lucero, the crowd went absolutely nuts for the Social D classic, “Mommy’s Little Monster”. There was even entertaining crowd moments away from the stage as some idiot faux-punk had the balls to throw the first punch at one of the Stubb’s security staff. That sort of thing is supposed to happen at a punk show right?
Having played a more than full set that lasted over an hour long, with the signature Mike Ness banter in between songs, Social D concluded an epic encore with the Johny Cash classic, “Ring Of Fire”. Not many can pull off that cover or come close to touching Cash, but no seemed to mind as they all sang along. As one bloody lipped and sweat soaked attendee put it after the show as eveyone was walking out, “That was the best night of my life. Where are we eating? I have to pee”. That about sums it up and justifies Social D at Stubb’s as one of the year’s best.