I Strum My Guitar…

Last night I was finally able to check off a band that I’ve been dying to see for years off my list…Social Distortion.  Social D, like Brian Setzer and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, was one of my early introductions into the neo-rockabilly movement, and for sometime, the three groups were all I would play intertwined with oldies.

The band’s performance, and Mike Ness’ (the man just turned 50!) was stellar, and right on par for what I had expected.  Ness entered the stage with donning a fantastic overcoat and stingy brim fedora.  Removing the coat revealed a black shirt, high waist pinstripe pants held up by white suspenders.  I wish the crowd would have taken note of how well dressed he was…but they were more concerned with the music.  Speaking of the crowd, it was the oddest mix of people.  You had those who were probably fans from the beginning, so they’re older, then you had some punk rockers, then you had the rockabilly crowd (which felt rather small actually) and then there was the group who simply felt as if they didn’t fit at all.  And I can also say this for the crowd, they were rough and mean.  The mosh pit crowd here was not as nice as that of ska shows (yes, yes I listen to ska).  I really wish Ness would do a solo tour.  I really like his solo albums, especially Under the Influences, more than Social D’s stuff, I must admit. Maybe one day…

This show was the band’s second in Portland.  Two nights previously they had performed an all ages show…maybe I would have been more comfortable at it…call me a wimp.  Although, Ness stated that our crowd was “better than the deadbeats from the last show”.  He also did a bit of praising of Portland, saying he’d rather stay here than go up to Seattle, and then yelled “Fuck, Seattle!” to a roar of cheers and applause.  Yeah, Seattle and Portland are pretty much constantly at war.

Want to see Social D? Check out their website to see if they are coming to a city near you!

Air Force Issue Jacket: thrifted, patched & pined by me
Brian Setzer t-shirt: purchased at his Spirit Mountain Casino concert last December
Belt: Buffalo Exchange, Eugene
Skirt: Crappy Old Navy thing I thrifted in high school.  I call it my “concert” skirt, since it’s already been torn once, and I don’t care what happens to it.

Setzer Rocks the Coast

Before I start in on my holidays, I must share what has to be one of the best concerts of my life… Now, I’ve seen most of my favorite living performers…Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Michael Buble, The Phenomenauts…but the one who I hadn’t seen and who I’d been in love with since middle school was Brian Setzer. His music was my introduction to the world of neo-swing and neo-rockabilly.  And when I got married last year, I walked down the aisle to his version of the classic wedding march – “Here Comes the Broad”. And finally, December 23rd, my dream of seeing him live came true – and it was in the 6th row.

With a bizarre mix of people in the audience, aged from 20-somethings to 60-somethings, Setzer took to the stage in what can only be described as a wickedly fantastic green and black suit and boasting a Rat Fink metal flake green Gretsch.

Mid-way through the performance, Setzer changed guitars to the Gretsch he used in the Stray Cats, a bright orange one with a pin-up decal on it, he then introduced Stray Cats drummer, Slim Jim Phantom.

I gotta say, Setzer lived up to everything I expected, and more. He’s a stellar performer and hasn’t let his 20-plus years of fame go to his head.

After the show I bought a t-shirt *GASP!* with the same imagery as the stage background. And really, all I own are band t-shirts these days.

Christmas entry to come tomorrow!