Social Distortion is a cool band. I am not a mega fan, but the self-titled and Somewhere Between Heaven And Hell albums are definitely fun listens. So why am I talking about Social Distortion?
Last night, I saw a band called Volbeat open up for Metallica and Lamb Of God at Madison Square Garden. A few months ago I had heard one of their songs on Sirius, thought it sounded pretty interesting and went to their Myspace page to hear some more. I remember not being particularly impressed and subsequently forgot about them. When I heard they were opening for Metallica, it didn't even cross my mind to get to the show early and check them out; however, the folks I was headed to the show with did want to see them, so I tagged along and went in with low expectations. One of the better feelings one can have in life is when expectations are not only exceeded, but blown out of the water.
Volbeat struck me as a metallized version of Social Distortion (both bands share an obvious and proud affinity for Johnny Cash) or like Sweden's Transport League with a rockabilly influence. The fact that they covered a Cash song and a Misfits song in the same set, have a song called "Mr. & Mrs. Ness" (which I assume is a nod to Social Distortion main man Mike Ness) are opening for Metallica and are from Denmark about says it all. I was truly impressed with their brief 30 minute set....so much so, that as soon as I got home I went on Amazon and purchased their album Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood and listened to it right away. I was relieved to find that the album held up to the power of the live show. I guess when I listened to them the first time around I just wasn't in the mood for their style of music (and let's face it, listening to music on Myspace is a terrible way to first experience a band). I'm curious to see them perform in a smaller venue and with a longer set, so here's hoping they continue to tour in the States next year.
"Mary Ann's Place"
"The Garden's Tale"
"Sad Man's Tongue"