Just shy of their performances at both Reading and Leeds festivals at the weekend, punk veterans Social Distortion treated Glasgow to a little warm up show. With Scottish fans notably excited for their debut performance on our shores, anticipation was high for musical damnation, a show so wild that the crowd would descend into a joyous anarchy.
Cue: the fantastic Dave Hause. Revelling in the musical wonder of a man and his guitar, he won the crowd over gradually, so much so he departed like a hero. With his strong vocal capability, he tackled a set including ‘Time Will Tell’ and ‘C’mon Kid’ to an adoring audience. His response came back to simplicity, he proved – as he does time and time again – that music can be wonderful in its simplest form, no special effects, nothing fancy. Fantastic.
Good as the lead support may have been, little compared to the response of the mighty Social Distortion. Greeted with roars, the band took to the stage, ready to treat fans to a string of songs to make up for their 30+ years of absence. Opening with ‘I Was Wrong’, the band offered many classic tracks and moments. Calling on a fan to name his autobiography, Mike Ness presented a fan with some money for yelling ‘Story of my Life’, which neatly doubled as the introduction for the very same song that followed.
From the likes of ‘Dear Lover’ and ‘Sick Boy’ to the concluding duo of Johnny Cash covers, there was something there to revel in. The night, however, was not without its minute faults. Notable classics were missing, leaving some fans disgruntled. At times there was a certain disconnect with the crowd; surely punk veterans would provoke a mass of movement, yet for many moments the majority of the audience merely stood, only proffering cheers at the end of each track.
Scotland waited a long time for Social Distortion – a long, long time – and for some it was fantastic, for others it needed a little more classic flavour packed in. Personally, the show fell into the former. Sure, there’s always room for some more classic tracks, but they can just remember that for next time… (There better be a next time!)