It was 8:10 at the Hollywood Palladium on Jan 27, when the lights dimmed. Chuck Ragan made his way on stage with Jon Gaunt and Joe Ginsberg. Onstage, a collection of instruments consisting of an acoustic guitar, harmonica, violin and a cello were all on display. The crowd didn’t know what to expect. As the apprehensive applause begun, so did the set. Ragan advised the crowd, “There are tons of beautiful people here tonight! There are some on stage that you’ll never see, so give it up for all the workers!”
As the crowd applauded, the band went into the last song of the night. The band members showed the crowd how you make instruments like the cello and violin acceptable at a rock concert by the way they acted. At the finish of the last song, Ragan ended with, “Take care of yourself, and take care of each other!” The crowd cheered once more for the band, as the lights brighten.
Chuck Ragan and his band, did great as they opened a small but exciting 30 minute set. By now, the crowd was really pumped and some even realized they actually liked Folk Rock.
Smoke arose as the band members came onto the stage. They started with a reggae song and blended into the next two songs. “How are you doing LA? How are you doing up there? How are you doing?” Singer, Jesse Wagner shouted to the crowd. They continued into their set, as Wagner and guitarist Brian Dixon danced on stage. They ended their set at 9:30 and left the stage. Many people once again went outside to quickly get fresh air, but most stayed still.
Sound check for Social Distortion started at 9:45, which triggered the chanting of the crowd, “Social D! Social D! Social D!” The crowd chanted for a good 2 minutes. It was 10:02 when the stage darkened. As someone peeked through a curtain, which gave off lighting, the crowd chanted again. The lights brightened and Social Distortion took the stage one by one.
They played “Machine Gun Blues” off the new album as crowd chanted the chorus. “And I’m already gone, I’ve left a pool of blood and sorrow, I’ve got the machine gun blues.”
After “Making Believe,” a Jimmy Work cover, the band left the stage and the lights darken. The Palladium turned quite. There was guitar playing intermittently in the background and soon the band members made their way back on stage. They played three more encore songs and Ness said, “This song is the story……..”
As the band departed the stage, they handed out pictures to fans. Eventually, the crowd began making their way to the merchandise table, to buy Social D shirts as well as merchandise from the two opening groups.
All photos by Nicole Lemberg
About the Author
Nicole Lemberg is a teen concert photographer, reviewer, and band interviewer. She recently started her own website Soundcheck411.com and her work has been published on numerous music related sites. She is a point and shooting guard on her high school basketball team. In her free time Nicole goes to concerts and hangs out with friends.
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