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Social Distortion decided to celebrate their 40th Anniversary with a big show in Irvine which included The Distillers, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Kills, Frank Turner, Eagles Of Death Metal, The Black Lips, Plague Vender, Bully and Mannequin Pussy.  This concluded with a headlining performance by Social Distortion.  Tonight we were there to cover The Distillers, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and Social Distortion.  Dubbed as the Sounds From Behind The Orange Curtain, 40 Years of Social Distortion, this special event took place on October 26th at the FivePoint Amphitheater in Irvine, CA.

The Distillers took the stage around 7:15pm.  They are an American punk rock band that formed in Los Angeles back in the late 90's by vocalist/guitarist and leader Brody Dalle. I recently had a chance to see them live in Seattle when they opened for The Original Misfits.  Tonight I was looking forward to their set here in Irvine.  The crowd was ready as they took the stage with loud screams from fans saying "I love you Brody!!!"  Tonight they played fan favorites like "Beat Your Heat Out," "The Hunger," "Drain the Blood," and "City of Angels."  Brody and the Distillers definitely were energetic and punk rock was in full effect here in Irvine.  So glad they were part of today's celebration!

Next up was Joan Jett and The Black Hearts. This instantly reminded me of the days when MTV would actually play music videos 24hrs a day.  Joan Jett is best known as the front-woman of her band Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, but was also part of The Runaways, which were an all female teenage rock band.  I had never had the opportunity to see them live before, and was excited for the opportunity to catch the show right here in Irvine.  Tonight the fans were in for a treat as they played classics like "Bad Reputation," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" and "Crimson & Clover."  They even included a couple of covers from The Runaways including "Cherry Bomb" and "You Drive Me Wild." The crowd was signing and dancing to all of these classics and overall felt Joan Jett and The Blackhearts put on one amazing performance.  It was an honor to finally see them live.

Now on to the main attraction,  Mike Ness and Social Distortion.  It had been awhile since I saw them live so I was very excited to see them again after so many years.  They have always been a classic punk rock band from Orange County.  Just in case you are not familiar with Social Distortion, they are a punk rock band that formed in Fullerton, CA way back in 1978.  If you ever have the chance to see the documentary Another State of Mind, I highly suggest it as that goes through their humble punk rock beginnings and follows them on tour across America.  This was filmed back in 1982 and gives you an idea how the scene was back then.

Tonight, Social Distortion started off their set with "Don't Drag Me Down" then went right into the classic "Bad Luck." Mike Ness always takes the stage dressed like a 1920's era gangster (three-piece suit with high-waisted pants, white button down shirt, necktie, vest, flat cap, along with bright white shoes) and tonight was no exception.  He looked sharp!  Social Distortion played other crowd favorites like "Machine Gun Blues," "Another State of Mind," "Prison Bound," and "Story of Life." They even played a couple of new songs including “Over You” and “Born To Kill”.  During the show, Mike Ness announced they will have a new record out next year and the sold-out show went crazy!  It was great to see Mike thank everyone who made his journey possible including his family and of course his fans.  It was truly an amazing show and the perfect way to celebrate 40 years of Social D!

See photos from tonight's event below.


Maurice Nunez

Photojournalist - Los Angeles

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