The grand opening and rebirth of the House of Blues Anaheim gladly welcomed Orange County’s own Social Distortion on Tuesday February 28th, 2017. The evening (complete with an pre-show appearance by The Blues Brothers Dan Aykroyd & Jim Belushi) was night one of two sold out dates for the Fullerton-based punk rock outfit. Kicking off a prolific touring schedule, this show was the first of 29 scheduled shows on their spring tour.
Much of the sold out crowd arrived early to check out the swanky new venue which is located at the back of the Anaheim Gardenwalk, within one mile of the old Downtown Disney venue. Taking over a defunct luxury movie theater at the largely vacant Gardenwalk, Live Nation has built itself a spectacular new venue that doubles the capacity of the old venue (now 2,200 in the main hall) while also adding an emerging artist stage (400 person capacity) dubbed The Parish. With an original planned Grand Opening in November 2016 that was pushed out to this date in February, this first show at the new State-of-the-art venue was highly anticipated by both fans and bands alike.
Most noticeably, sight lines and acoustics have been greatly improved with VIP functionality found throughout the venue with upgrades available to concert goers that are willing to pay to improve their views. Although there are facets of the venue that require additional time and resources to complete, there was no doubt on opening night that the potential for this new spot is limitless.
Jade Jackson, an upstart singer-songwriter (who will soon be releasing her debut album produced by Mike Ness) opened up the evening while Texas-based country crooner Paul Cauthen followed closely behind and provided a lengthy set.
Shortly after 10pm the restless crowd was rewarded for their patience when Mike Ness and company hit the stage for the band’s first show of 2017. The iconic frontman was outfitted in his standard suspenders and white collar shirt, tearing through opening songs “Don’t Drag Me Down”, “Bad Luck” and “So Far Away” before taking time to recognize the crowd and the new venue. The 15 song set list included hits “Ball & Chain” and “Reach For The Sky” but noticeably absent was arguably their biggest tune “Story Of My Life”.
After “California (Hustle and Flow)” the band disappeared for a brief break only to return for a 4 song encore that included a stripped down “Gotta Know The Rules”, which included acoustic guitars and a fiddle. “Scars” was then introduced by Ness as the reason “why there is Social Distortion”. Later a slow and methodical lead-in to “Ring Of Fire” capped off the evening and concluded night one of the new House of Blues Anaheim.
The band returns numerous times to SoCal over the next few months with local shows scheduled at the Observatory North Park in San Diego (March 8th & 9th) and in Pomona at the Fox Theater (March 11th and April 7th) — all of which to no surprise are already sold out.
Social Distortion Setlist:
Don’t Drag Me Down | Bad Luck | So Far Away | Reach For The Sky | Gimme The Sweet and Lowdown | Ball and Chain | This Time Darlin’ | Cold Feelings | When She Begins | Hope Dies Hard | California (Hustle and Flow) | Gotta Know The Rules | Scars | When You Lay Your Burden Down | Ring Of Fire
Social Distortion Photo Gallery
Jade Jackson Photo Gallery
Paul Cauthen Photo Gallery