Biters - From Atlanta, GA, comes this twin guitar four-piece that instantly invokes a NY Dollsian rock with power-pop punk pace. It's a little too pretty on top of it all, although it seems tough enough for the most part. There is a contrived sense to it all with a style they believe is sincere and at some level it is. I sense they are purposefully playing the 'heel' (see quote) which they do pretty much admit to later with singer saying he knew he pissed off some people here. And yes, I am sure you did. But thankfully you are NOT "the last of a dying breed (rock bands)" or if so, then see you later T-Rex. He also asked for a show of hands who thought their haircuts were funny. Some agreed and he said they were the type of people who made fun of the Ramones for their funny haircuts. Nice try, but speaking for the many SD fans here tonight that were actually there, let me inform you that the Ramones haircuts were entirely normal back when they started. They became funny by keeping them to the point of being a uniform, something which Dee Dee rebelled against. Actually, it was Sue Catwoman (lovely person btw), Darby Crash, and the mostly UK punks that had the funny haircuts that got them either a lot of magazine coverage or beaten up and stabbed depending on where they were. And one more answer to your comments. You may not have come here to be judged, but you if you go up on stage for money, you are going to be judged. Live with it or stay home.
Lindi Ortega - Here's a nice tight little trio with electric guitar, drums, and Ms. Ortega on acoustic guitar and vocals. Her fiery voice stays well above the gutsy energetic rock opener. There is a rootsy vibe with a loose sense of fun, yet solid songwriting at the core. In other words, a perfect match for tonight's headliner. And she put an exclamation point on that with a cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" to finish off her 45 minute set. In between, she varied it up nicely, keeping the audience involved and quite impressed based on the growing reaction throughout the set. This was excellent and she has easily made enough fans to headline a smaller club the next time through.
Social Distortion - There were always a few punk bands that you had the sense could really break big. This band was always at or near the top of that list for me as I really sensed some brilliance with Mike Ness's songwriting. Add his great vocal style and ringing guitar approach, I always kept hoping it would happen. And it was great to see that here in 2012 he and his band can sell out the 9:30 Club twice over. And the real kicker is that they sounded absolutely fabulous tonight. And oddly enough, for as much as I like them, I really don't listen to much of their material beyond the first two LPs and early singles. So a lot of this was new or lightly heard for me, yet it sounded just as warm and familiar as "1945" or "Ball and Chain" played tonight. Ness's voice still digs deep and whether he was the crazed punk kid, or the hard living survivor he is today, he has that magical ability to stir the soul. The guitar interplay was as engaging as ever with a straightforward and powerful rhythm section. I don't see how rock music lovers can find too many flaws here as this is how its done. This show really had me feeling good for too many reasons to mention. So I'll leave it with Mike Ness's remembrance. There were many smiles when he mentioned he was thinking that 30 years ago he was pushing a broken down school (touring) bus through the DC streets (as depicted in the documentary 'Another State of Mind'). "There were not as many people at that show."
The 'Keep talking, you're only digging yourself in deeper Quote of the Night: From the Biters... "We're trying to get every woman's pussy wet and every dick hard... in a non-gay way.... Feel free to drop your pants and jack off here. It's a free country and you have your rights today."