Social Distortion – Live In Orange County

Social Distortion – Live In Orange County / 2004 Time Bomb Recordings / 15 Tracks / / /

Starting out slowly with “Making Believe”, all the variables that tend to hold a band from achieving their full potential on a live DVD, including poor sound and vocals are simply not present on “Live in Orange County”. The disc sounds even more professional than 1998’s “Live At The Roxy”, and the selection of tracks found on this DVD reads more like a greatest hits than anything – moving from Mommy’s Little Monster to a track off Social Distortion’s newest album, Sex, Love and Rock’N’Roll (Footprints On My Ceiling). Each track incorporates the same bouncy beat and scratchy vocals that made Social Distortion a household name, and while this DVD speaks more to the long-time fans (with only four singles by the band collected here – Sick Boy, Don’t Drag Me Down, Mommy’s Little Monster, and Story of My Life), even the most obscure tracks (Telling Them, Mass Hysteria) are incorporated beautifully into the performance.

A few of the mid-concert tracks drag on, namely “Telling Them” and “Bad Luck”. However, “Bad Luck” does have one saving grace, with the guitar-solo bubbling up through the track providing a precursor to the up-tempo and hard-hitting fury of “Footprints on My Ceiling”. “Another State of Mind” is started with all of its original fury after Mike talks with eir kid; with this infusion of youth the track sounds as if Mike was screaming it out the day after eir finalized the lyrics. “Mommy’s Little Monster” comes soon after, and Social Distortion, even after twenty years are able to create an environment for their audience that has the same fervor and snarl that is as vital in 2004 as it was in 1982. The video has practically all of the footage focused on the band, with a few audience reaction shots thrown in. In doing this, the director has created an atmosphere in which the DVD tries to recreate actually attending the concert in question. The average concert-goer is going to be focused in on the band most of the time, only looking around the audience during lulls in songs and possibly after being smacked in the back by an errant mosher. As has been said, this is miles beyond anything that Live at the Roxy had going for it, and just being able to see Mike Ness and the rest of the band in their element is nearly worth the cost of the DVD itself.

Top Tracks: Mommy’s Little Monster, Sick Boy

Rating: 7.2/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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