Social D at House of Blues

Share on Nextdoor
"I like to think of this song as being about something bigger than an imaginary creature," lead Supersucker Eddie Spaghetti said halfway through "Creepy Jackalope Eye," on the first of a two-night stand with Social Distortion at the House of Blues.
D.S. Resch
The Supersuckers revel in their awesomeness.
Using the song as an analogy for his concept of "awesomeness," Spaghetti spoke of a world where everyone strives to be awesome. "People might have to give up other beliefs," he joked, before launching back into the song: "Is it so hard to imagine/Is it so hard to believe/Something so outrageous/Something so far-fetched/Well how about Adam and Eve?" Awesomeness was an appropriate subject, given the way the Supersuckers and Social D shook the sold-out House. The two bands -- which Spaghetti noted are perfect for each other -- both play a high-energy, roots-inflected brand of punk that's like rockabilly on jet fuel. Wearing a cowboy hat and sunglasses, Spaghetti opened the show with the observation, "In the beginning there was rock, and then someone invented weed, and things started to roll." From there on, the Seattle quartet blasted through a 45-minute set. It was enjoyable, but not quite up to their usual standards, slowed by a couple of overextended vamps (a 10-minute blues workout of Willie Nelson's "Bloody Mary Morning"?!). But with the fine "Luck" and cheeky show-closing ode to the devil "Born With a Tail," it still satisfied -- and cultivated a lot of fans, judging from the post-set merch-booth crush.
D.S. Resch
Mike Ness: Nowhere do tattoos look cooler.
Most of the crowd was there to see beefy, tattooed Social D singer-guitarist Mike Ness. If Spaghetti had the easy charm of the class clown, Ness had a steely glower and commanding presence that makes you glad he's singing to you and not kicking your ass. In a gas-attendant's blue shirt, Ness strode the stage, alternately swinging his guitar from his hip and straining his head toward the mic. Later he shed the shirt, revealing guns that require a permit in lesser states. Social D's set covered Ness' history from "Mommy Little Monster" to "Prison Bound," which signaled the band's change from old-school punk to its C&W-tinged cowpunk. Bathed in purple light, Ness led the crowd in a rousing version of their biggest hit, "Ball & Chain," while up above, some nut ledge-walked on the balcony over the dance floor. (He was pursued a bit belately by HOB security with Keystone Kops furor.) Ness has a gruff, endearing way on the mic, but he didn't have much to say. Spaghetti came out for one tune midway through, and Ness also unveiled a new tune called "Bakersfield," a dusty, road-weary song that he claimed resulted from the eternal question What would Buck Owens do? The evening ended with Ness imagining the audience going home to their loved ones, or perhaps making love to themselves (and undoubtedly checking the window for Carl Monday). "Some of my best love was made right here," Ness said, holding out his hand. "No head trips, just walk into the kitchen to get a snack when I'm done. And maybe go back and do it again." With that, the O.C. quintet delivered a rousing, show-closing rendition of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire," regaling the crowd with the hope that "there is someone out there that will put up with your bullshit." Amen. Bonus: There are still seats available for tonight's show. -- Chris Parker

About The Author

Scroll to read more Music News articles


Join Cleveland Scene Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.