Social Distortion / The Gaslight Anthem / The Black Sheep
17.06.09 Philipshalle, DüsseldorfSocial Distortion are celebrating their 30th anniversary with this tour and the Düsseldorf show turned out to the biggest gathering of fully tattooed grey-haired rockers I've ever been to.
The Black Sheep, a german low-budget version of The Donnas, are opening the evening. They're four girls pretending to rock and they are boring, even their version of Teenage Kicks.
The Gaslight Anthem took my heart by storm with Sink Or Swim and I was sad to miss out on their last tour this February. They've become bigger and bigger over the last 18 months and tonight they proved that they are able to play big stages and that they will do so in the future. They focused on the songs from The '59 Sound and only played We Came To Dance from the first album. They even included a fake phone call by Mike Ness during the set but it didn't produce a painful impression. The music was tight, the band was in a good mood and they seemed to have won a lot of new fans regarding the raucous reception they received from the crowd.
"Bring me the head of Evan Dando" was written on Social Distortion's bass drum when I saw them for the first time. That was twelve years ago at a Rockpalast festival also at the Philipshalle and it was particularly funny as The Lemonheads were also on the bill that night. Mike Ness even mentioned that show when he introduced I Won't Run No More.
Tonight Social Distortion started in overdrive and got the capacity crowd dancing and singing along immediately. But as they played such highlights as Mommy's Little Monster, Sick Boys, Don't Drag Me Down and Ring Of Fire in succession very early in the set teh rest of the show couldn't keep up with it. Lame jokes between the songs and an abrupt end just after an hour also didn't help to keep me excited. They returned for an encore but after 80 minutes it was over.
Social Distortion were only mediocre but The Gaslight Anthem could compensate that and were my highlight of the night.