Photos and review: Social Distortion at the Ogden Theatre in Denver - Reverb

Live review: Social Distortion @ the Ogden Theatre, Day 2

Two things were apparent by the end of the Social Distortion concert at the Ogden Theatre on Saturday night: the band’s raucous punk rock makes you want to push the stranger standing next to you, and Mike Ness is the man to thank for that. Ness, the unquestioned leader and only original member of the band, has been writing and performing his now iconic punk songs for over 30 years. Trying to imagine Social D without him is like trying to take the dark out of night.

Ness, with bandmates Jonny Wickersham (guitars), Brent Harding (bass) and David Hidalgo, Jr. (drums) wasted no time with a crashing set that cranked out classics like “Bad Luck” and “Story of My Life.” A sizeable mosh pit followed post-haste. The crowd/band relationship was a constant gnashing of grit and energy, and sticking to a well-aged arsenal of tunes like “So Far Away” and crowd favorite “Ball and Chain,” the situation remained perfectly un-calm.

Closing with a lengthy encore, Social Distortion departed with their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” and for a little while, the room felt electric. “Can’t Take it With You,” a track off of 2011’s “Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes,” still managed to bring it. And while the stage lighting did not seem to vary much beyond on or off, Mike Ness made his signature Gibson Les Paul gold-top sting, because that was the type of gig it was.

Not much in the way of spectacle or mystery, pretty much just a punch in the gut performance that made up only one third of the band’s sold out weekend in Denver.

Click here for a full photo gallery of Day 3.

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Brendan Magee is a Denver-based writer and regular contributor to Reverb. When not writing, Brendan is working on his own music as a singer-songwriter in Capitol Hill.

  • When she begins to rock…

    Ogden is such a great venue for Social Distortion.  The gritty backdrop of Colfax is the visual for Social D songs. Seedy bars, desperation and plenty of regrets. Great show. I wish I could have seen all three. 

  • Anonymous

    Wonder how many boneheads showed up? I quit going to Sicial Distortion shows years ago due to the numbers of neoNazis who were showing up.

  • Fidget On The Floor

    Yeah the Neanderthals still show up.  Also, why so many stiffs at such a high energy show?  You know, the people who get front rown and then stand there with hands in pocket?

  • 76bonanza

    I personally found the show last night quite boring.  Too many songs off of H.T.N.R.  So many other quality songs the band has, not Live at the Roxy and the last night of the show, we get slow jams.  Yawn.  No energy from Ness or the other band members.  I’ve have seen Social D. a couple times before and those shows do not compare to the “generic” feeling of last nights show.  I only hope Sat. and Fri. nights shows had more energy.  My sugestion for the band, play the Fillmore next time and get all your money at once,like you have in the past, so you aren’t so tired for the last show of the tour stop.  Also, don’t add 2 days of shows before your ONLY orignal night.  Makes you wonder just how much more money the band needed.  Guess you can’t make much money off the $30 t-shirts, $50+ dollar hoodies and $10 stickers.  Seriously, $10 stickers?  Remember Mike, you can’t take it with you.  Your own words.