May 12, 2005 - Magic City Music Hall - Johnson City, NY

Everyone that knows me is aware that I love Social Distortion. I see them every chance I get, and if you are one of those people that keeps track, I have seen them about 5 or 6 times, plus I have seen Mike Ness do his solo thing three times. But in all the times I have seen the band and/or met Mike Ness, I have never gotten a photo with him... until now!
The show at Magic City Music Hall in Binghamton, NY was a little bit of a surprise when I saw it listed, but who am I to argue if Social Distortion wants to play a show that is practically my backyard?
I had been promised a photo pass for the show in Niagara Falls in February, but the show was canceled due to the fact that Mike was sick. (Canceled due to ill Ness...Get it? lol) When the band decided to re-schedule the shows for the East Coast and add a few more, I asked if I could get one for this show and was told I could.
Mike Ness has been on my HeroQuest since the beginning. He was one of the first chosen and he is one of the biggest and most important influences of my life.

My friend Jack Bennet, (some of you will remember Jack from past adventures), and I went to see Social Distortion because of all the people I know, only him and our boy Derrin come close to my love of this band and I couldn't bring Derrin because he is in Texas. (too
So, Jack and I headed out to the show got there pretty early.
When we arrived at Magic City Music Hall we got out of the truck to a round of kids shouting out "Tom Around The World!" I went over to them and chatted for a while and they grabbed a few of the new buttons. A few moments later I was approached by the bouncers and told that I could not sell buttons in the parking lot. I got into a small argument with the guy and decided that it was just easier to not do it than to fight with the guy. He was being an asshole, and engaged in some blatent douche-baggery, but that is how some people are.
So, I put my stuff away and went to the "Will Call" window to get our passes, but they weren't there yet so Jack and I sat around and smoked cigarettes until the list came out. It took about twenty minutes, but finally the guest list came through and we were given our passes and tickets.
As we entered the club, one of the other security guys tried to tell me I couldn't bring in my camera, because the tour manager from Social Distortion had told him that no one was allowed to take photos... and the bouncer said that ncluded me. I tried to explain to him that I was given a photo pass by the band and was, in fact, allowed to take photos. The guy still argued about it. I guess he wasn't smart enough to figure out that the manager had meant that people in the crowd and not people with press passes. It just goes to prove that most bouncers are paid to think from the neck down. So, in order to prove my point, I went and found the tour manager and got shit sorted out. Soon, I was in the door with my camera and Mr. Bouncer was standing there looking like an idiot. (And yes, I am a bouncer too, but Jeezus, sometimes I am astounded by the stupidity of the guys hired by some clubs...) Anyway, enough about stupid bouncers and back to the bands...

The Albuquerque, NM-based pop-punk siblings The Eyeliners formed in 1995. The band consists of singer/drummer Laura, guitarist Gel and bassist Lisa. Originally known as Psychodrama, the sisters adopted their new name in mid-1996 after issuing their debut single "Vivid."
The lovely ladies were on the road supporting their latest release on Joan Jett's Blackheart Records entitled: No Apologies. The legendary Joan Jett even makes a guest appearance on the album on a few tracks, lending backing vocals on two songs ("Do Anything You Wanna Do" and "Destroy") and also adds her guitar work and appears in the video for "Destroy." "Think of Me," the lead-off track, with its chorus of "I hope you think of me when you burn in hell," is a great start to a powerful album.
The girls of The Eyeliners are all very pretty, but don't let that distract you from the fact that they are a fully functioning, talented band. This is loud, brash, in-your-face pop-punk-rock.
Though actually a three piece, The Eyeliners tour with a hired drummer to allow Laura to focus on vocal duties. Many listeners will compare her to Gwen Stephanie in her vocal style. She is as pleasant to listen to as she is to look at. Gel is a very competent Guitar player and was a blast to watch. To sum up her performance in two words: Gel Shreds! She was so full of energy. She could hold her own against nearly any guitar player. Lisa is a great Bass player and holds down the bottom end very nicely. If you get the chance to see these three sisters perform, do so. The Eyeliners will blow you away! They made a fan out of me and will do the same to you.



Lost City Angels are a bunch of New England punk rockers who came along during the emo rock landslide after the turn of the century. Originally consisting of drummer Adam Shaw, bassist Duggan, and guitarist Drew Indingaro, the group wrote a series of demos consisting of dynamic, energetic punk rock right when they started. Drafting in singer Ron Ragona and guitarist Nick Bacon, the group started building a reputation during 2001. After recording several songs with former Mighty Mighty Bosstones member Nate Albert, the band put together their favorite tracks and brought it to Nitro Records for a 2002 release.
The Lost City Angels took the stage just before Social Distortion and got the crowd whipped into a frenzy with their screaming guitars, gritty vocals, thumping bass, and pounding drums. It was easy to see why this band got the direct support slot on this tour. This band kicks ass! Plain and simple. Their high-energy Rock & Roll provided the groundwork for Ron and the boys to leap and stomp and cause musical mayhem. Ron NEVER stays still. He is one of the hardest singers I have ever tried to photograph. Everytime I tried to get a photo, he was halfway accross the stage by the time the shutter closed. In the end, I was able to get some cool shots of the whole band. After their set, Jack and I went outside to get some fresh air and smoke a few cigarettes and get ready for the main event of the evening.

Social Distortion was formed in 1978 has overcome numerous personnel shifts and the heroin addiction of founder and singer/guitarist Mike Ness to achieve a measure of mainstream recognition for their rootsy, hard-hitting punk without compromise. The original line-up consisted of drummer Casey Royer and brothers Frank (bass) and Rikk Agnew (guitar). When the Agnew brothers left to join the Adolescents, Ness' schoolmate Dennis Danell joined on bass; the next few years saw a revolving-door membership.

When the group finally recorded its debut album, Mommy's Little Monster in 1983, the band consisted of Ness, Danell (now on guitar), bassist Brent Liles, and drummer Derek O'Brien. Their music was often described as a punk version of the Rolling Stones, and "Another State of Mind" was one of the few punk videos to air on MTV in 1984. However, the band took four years to record a follow-up, as Ness descended into heroin addiction and self-consciously rebellious behavior. Liles and O'Brien left, and Ness, after straightening himself out, finally regrouped in 1988 with John Maurer on bass and Chris Reece on drums. This lineup recorded Prison Bound, a mature album broadening Social Distortion's roots rock influences with a country feel. Their self-titled 1990 effort included a cover of Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" and returned the group to MTV via "Ball and Chain." Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell became their most popular album to date, producing a minor radio hit in "Bad Luck" and keeping with their now-established blend of punk, blues, country, and rockabilly.
Social Distortion took an extended hiatus following the release of Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell, returning in 1996 with White Light, White Heat, White Trash, which proved to be a moderate hit on MTV and modern-rock radio; former Black Flag and D.O.A. drummer Chuck Biscuits made his debut on the album, following the departure of Reece. Live at the Roxy followed in 1998, and a year later Ness issued a pair of solo albums, Cheating at Solitaire and the covers collection Under the Influences.
Dennis Danell died February 29, 2000 of an apparent brain aneurysm; a tragedy which devestated Mike Ness. The guitarist was just 38-years-old.

In the fall of 2000, Jonny Wickersham signed on as the group's new guitarist, and Charlie Quintana took over on drums from the often busy Biscuits. After extensive touring, the band went back into the studio in 2004 to record Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll.
The album,in my opinion, is Ness' greatest collection of new material. The songs show an amazing amout of growth as a person and a great deal if introspection about Mike Ness and his life after drugs, marriage, fatherhood and loss of his best friend. Like a survival manual from the trenches of punk, Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll takes listeners on a hardcore ride, venturing inside the hearts of saints and sinners, winners and losers, jailhouse poets and Cadillac tramps, all brought to life with Social Distortion's trademark sound. It is a blend of blistering guitars and Ness' rebel-with-a-cause vocals. Equal parts poet and punk, Ness continues to cement his place in the hierarchy of punk as one of the all-time great songwriters.
The crowd at Magic City Music Hall was treated to a stellar performance. Mike and company set the stage on fire with their classic songs and the entire crowd sang along. The new material got just as wonderful of a response from the fans. Before one song, Mike asked who the youngest person in the crowd was and a group of kids sent up their friend who was only fourteen years old. It was also his very first concert. Ness brought the youngster up on stage and talked about how great it was to see the next generation of young punks coming up and commented that it was worth it all to see them going the way of good music.
A few songs and an encore later. Social Distortion left the stage.
Jack and I headed out to the band's bus to try and get a photo with Mike Ness. After a short wait, most of the rest of the band came out and we got photos with them and I got them all to sign my Social Distortion poster from the House of Blues seven day run. I have a limited edition print signed and numbered by the artist.
Finally, Mike Ness joined us and we got our photos and autographs, thanked Mike for everything, and headed home. It was a great day.

Time Bomb

w/ Mike Ness

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