Social Distortion at Stage AE

On Friday night, Social Distortion returned to the same stage where they played Stage AE’s very first outdoor concert. That was back in May of 2011. This show however was a little more special. Not only was this show the second X Fest concert put on this summer by 105.9 the X, but it was also an anniversary celebration. The 25th anniversary of Social Distortion’s self-titled third album. It was also a little special for me too. Social Distortion is the first band that I ever photographed from the pit between the stage and the barricade.

Mike Ness of Social Distortion

Social Distortion hit the stage and the place erupted with a roar from the crowd. They broke right into “So Far Away” followed by “Let it Be Me” and “Story of My Life.” As they continued playing the entire album in the correct order only one song was left out, and that was on purpose. The crowd cheered and sang along song after song. People of all ages were taking in the show and loving every minute of it. At one point lead singer Mike Ness even brought up a fan that appeared to be 7 or 8 years old. He was definitely dressed for a Social Distortion show in his Social D t-shirt and newsboy cap. Ness gave the boy some pretty good life advice, saying something like “do good in school, but don’t believe the history books.” If only we all had someone to teach us that when we were kids…

After finishing the remainder of the Social Distortion album, there was no break. No buildup of anticipation. Just non-stop playing like a true punk band. Although they did slow things down a bit with a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Wild Horses.” After two more songs they picked up the pace once again as Ness led the band into “Far Behind” and finally into the track that they previously skipped from the album, the cover of Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” X Fest II proved to be one of the biggest and best shows of the summer, not just at Stage AE but anywhere I’ve been to shoot. From the opening acts X Ambassadors and Drag the River, to Reel Big Fish  and local punks Anti-Flag  –  X Fest II had a little something for everybody. Let’s hope that The X keeps it going in 2016.


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One Comment

  1. Jimmy J December 19, 2015 at 7:22 PM #

    Dude! You are an awesome concert photographer! I was at this show, and many others that you shot over the last few years…You need to send your shit to Rolling Stone!