death or glory: social d in nyc
nokia theater, nyc
Ness is still Ness, tattoos and eyeliner you could see from the back of the room, but he’s aged handsomely, with humor and grace. Novena candles flicker on his amp, screaming Southern California through every pore. Now, he is a hero and an idol and although he would probably at least wince a little bit to consider it, a role model to many.
The young kids were there, and those of us who would be the band’s contemporaries are lurking around the edges of the floor, out of the spotlight, some still sporting colors, others looking a little more sedate and a tad out of place. This is our band but we know our time has come and gone and we will follow Ness’ lead here.
But we still know all the words, every one, the band hasn’t lost one iota of conviction even if the energy is, well, maybe gentler and a little bit slower. There is no one quite like Social D and god knows they should be bigger than they are (unlike the gazillion SoCal bands that mimic them, poorly), but they do what they do in an exemplary fashion, through plain old sweat and hard work. I went for inspiration and to get some energy from Ness and to see for myself that 2005 or not, he can still do it. And I can’t help but think of Joe Strummer tonight, the grandaddy in this equation.
I am rooting, still, for my fantasy that Social D back Bruce Springsteen on an album some day. He’s a bigger fan of them then they are of him (I have been told that it confuses Mike Ness more than anything, in a good way, like, ‘What does this guy from Jersey want with me?’), and if nothing else it amuses me to think it could happen. The two men’s approaches to getting onstage and doing what they do are not all that different.
postscript: the new nokia theater in times square — I agree with those who thought it was sterile and cold, not very rock and roll, not LOUD enough by any means, although the sightlines were reasonable, at least with the half-layout they used tonight for Social D. There are seats in the back which were curtained off, but using those would make the place seem very long and narrow and I do not think it would be an acceptable experience if you were stuck up there. The Disney-fied Times Square also means you have to go *very* far afield if you want to eat something that isn’t Olive Garden after the show.
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