August 4th, 2010:

Mike Ness

So I took the hour or so train ride out to Wantagh, Long Island to experience Social Distortion’s 2010 summer tour last night.

I arrived around 8pm and the 1st warm up band was playing. I normally like to give props to warm up bands and try to help them get their music out but not this time.

I’m not even gonna name names or waste time talking about the warm up bands because I was really underwhelmed by both of them, though at least the 2nd band somewhat fit the theme of the night and the lead singer had some entertaining conversations with the lighting guy.

The music in between the sets was just as bad with Aerosmith and Bruce Hornsby and the Range tunes being spun by the DJ. I thought I was in “Corny Island” not “Long Island”. As one of my friends stated, the venue seemed very disrespectful of the audience with such inappropriate warm up music. Didn’t they realize this was a punk show? At least play some Johnny Cash!

Social Distortion rolled onto stage just a little after 10 pm and Mike Ness came out to the same intro song I had witnessed in 2007 (see my Previous post which has a good video of the 2007 intro) when they played this same venue. I love that song and sure hope they include it on their forthcoming CD this fall. If anyone knows the title of that song, please let me know, I need that song on my ipod.

Despite what seemed like Mulcahey’s best efforts to dampen enthusiasm (or maybe because of it) the crowd was rowdy, rowdier than I can remember at other Social D shows. They were ready to go from the get go and pretty much kept it up all night.

Mike Ness and company didn’t disappoint ripping through about an hour and 15 minutes of “hits” plus a preview of their upcoming CD with a song called “Still Alive” I think. It was cool, but I need to hear it a few more times to see if it’s going to be one of the many Social Distortion songs I hit repeat again and again on my ipod.

Johnny 2 Bags

Ness joked around with the crowd about Jones Beach surf scene comparing it to California as well as Jersey vs. Long Island jokes. However, I’m not sure the impact was there, because I got the feeling a big part of the crowd were, like me, from Manhattan and other parts of NYC, given Social Distortion didn’t have a Manhattan stop on this particular tour.

BOUNCER: Just Doing His Job.. too well.

The big, burly goons (excuse me bouncers) at Mulcahey’s did their job very well and pretty much stopped every possible crowd surfing, wrecking pit and display of enthusiasm that they could. They did their best to stop all the fun and they almost succeeded. I realize these guys are just doing their jobs but what a buzzkill this place Mulcahey’s was. I think that’s the last time I roll out there for an event.

Social D. ended their set with “Making Believe” before heading offstage. Followed by chants of “Social D” from the crowd for about 5 minutes, the band ambled back on stage and played another 3 or so songs, including a raucous version of “Prison Bound” which the crowd sang word for word. They ended the night on a rocking night with their famous remake of “Ring of Fire” which always gets the crowd going.

I thought they were going to come out for yet another encore but the fine folks at Mulcahey’s fired up the “Sanford and Son” theme song (don’t ask me?!) and hit the main lights, so I knew it was time to head for the exit and hopefully not wait too long before the next LIRR train took me back to the much preferred confines of NYC.

I went next door to a “quickie mart” which gouges concert goers with $2 bottles of water and chips and not much else then headed to the train platform and joined the other Manhattan and Brooklynites for the wait for the train.

On the platform and on the train home, pretty much everyone was raving about the show and seemed to have a genuinely good time. I have to agree. Despite the venue’s missteps and the goons’ efforts to rob the audience of a good punk experience, the power of Social Distortion was just too strong and a good time was had anyway.

Can’t wait for the new CD and the chance to see Social Distortion on November 4th, this time in Manhattan at the Roseland Ballroom.

I hope to have some video up soon so stay tuned!

7 thoughts on “Social Distortion in Wantagh, Long Island – NYC

  1. Rich from Black Cat Entertainment in LA clued me into the name of the intro by Social Distortion.. It’s “Road Zombie” by Social Distortion. Gonna see if I can download somewhere as I haven’t seen this on any of their CDs before.

  2. The show was great! As for your complaints about the venue, here’s what matters: The sound quality was excellent, and when was the last time you had the opportunity to see a band this big in a 650 occupancy bar?
    If you can’t handle those fat loser bouncers then get your pansy ass back on the train to Chelsea or the West Village or wherever the f&*k you live poser.
    $20 bucks says you weren’t born anywhere near New York.

  3. Hey thanks for responding. It seems I hurt your feelings. Sorry about that, just writing it as I see it.

    I’ve lived in NYC for 15 years and while I love it, I’m proud to have been born in Tennessee where if you cross somebody, you usually pay for it immediately, unlike in the northeast where I’ve noticed the tendency is to call a lawyer.

    Yep, the show was great.. As I said in my original post. The GBH song says, “call in the goon squad, it’s getting out of hand”! I guess Mulcahey’s took that literally.. I think most punks will agree that a punk show should be a little chaotic.. It was Social D. not Kenny G. And the tickets were $35, not $20. Maybe the extra $15 went to all the extra security?

    Since I don’t know you I’m not gonna resort to calling you a name as you did me, but as far as being a poser my life speaks for itself.

    I’m in South America right now documenting AND PARTICIPATING in the punk scene where I witnessed a guy getting his head kicked in my first night here and last night a dude got shot DEAD in the “tourist” area one block from where I’m staying.

    You may think it’s hardcore living in Long Island, NYC but it’s not. Dust off your passport and travel a little.. somewhere, anywhere outside of the U.S. (preferably where they don’t speak English) and see how people really live. Many Punks in Latin America risk their well being or freedom for punk.. have you ever done that?

  4. Mulcahy’s was fun, also saw Social D at The Chance. Bouncers at both shows were busting up the fun. When I saw them last year in Sayreville the bouncer caught the crowd surfers and let them walk in front of the stage back to the pit. I can’t wait to see them when they hit NYC and AC in the fall. Will get more video to post to youtube… I got most of the show at the Chance. Next time hang out after the show, Mike and the band have been hanging out and talking to the fans. Photos and autographs and real conversation. They are stand up, that is why they are still around with a solid fan base 30 years later. The Road Zombie Mike has on his Black Kat Kustoms website sounds studio made, I hope it ends up on Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.

  5. Thanks! They are coming back to the Roseland in November. can’t wait to see them perform music off their new CD.

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