Lindsey Best for AOL Well, it's over. The first weekend of Coachella has come…
- Posted on Aug 16th 2010 9:12AM by Benjy Eisen
Social Distortion closed out their summer run with a triumphant anchor set on the Sutro Stage at Outside Lands on Sunday. The festival, held in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, represented a Californian homecoming of sorts for the SoCal punk band, as they told the audience they were glad to be back on the West Coast.
Performing a similar set as their standout performance at Lollapalooza in Chicago a week earlier, frontman Mike Ness was a bit more talkative and, indeed, even seemed noticeably looser offstage. "We jumped on a plane to Afghanistan and set up there to take it all in and write," Ness told Spinner backstage -- jokingly -- when asked about the songwriting process for their highly anticipated new album. When we called him out on it, he grinned playfully: "We didn't go anywhere."
During their afternoon set, however, they certainly took the audience places. Ness warned the crowd early on that they should have already had the foresight to call off work on Monday. "How are you going to fit work in?" he asked. "Between drinking beer in the sun and Social D.?"
Introducing a new tune ('Still Alive') as a song about survival, Social Distortion used most of their set to rip through their well-worn classics including 'Ball & Chain,' 'Mommy's Little Monster,' and -- of course -- their notorious cover of Johnny Cash's 'Ring of Fire.'
But, being at a weekend festival in such an idyllic setting as Golden Gate Park, the band also used the opportunity to "drink beer in the park all day" and to just be music fans themselves. From stage, Ness gave a shout out to Al Green, telling the packed crowd that if they missed Al Green's set then, in fact, they "missed it all."
As for their own performance, Social Distortion relied on their old faithful sound to captivate an audience that spanned several generations. "We're definitely a band that doesn't rely on production," Ness told Spinner before their set. "It's a little harder to do this here than in a theater ... but it just means you've got to work harder."
Three decades into their career and that hard work still pays off. Expect a full-blown comeback come this November, after the new album drops.