On the same night most people were at home watching the MTV Video Music Awards and the season finale of Game of Thrones, the punks of Tampa Bay were packed into Jannus Live for Social Distortion.
"I like the Sunday nighters better than the Fridays and the Saturdays," singer-guitarist Mike Ness told the crowd. Because the Sunday nighters, they don't want the party to end."
Grizzled but taut, with sweat beading down his tattooed limbs, the 55-year-old Ness led Social D through a career-spanning set of his signature rusty, crusty country-influenced punk, and got the crowd singing along by dropping one of his band's big hits, Ball and Chain, early in the set. Totally worth missing Game of Thones for that, right?
Opening the show was Jade Jackson, a 25-year-old Californian whose debut album, Gilded, Ness produced. Fitting, since as she told the crowd, her first concert, at age 13, was Social Distortion.
Often compared to Kathleen Edwards and Lucinda Williams, Jackson brought an extra bit of bite to her sizeable set. She pummeled her acoustic guitar with fierce focus on Aden, Better Off and Good Time Gone, and tossed in elements of boozy reflection (No Guarantees), twangified giddy-up (Troubled End), and Dando- and Westerberg-style '90s alterna-jangle (Bottle It Up). No wonder Ness has taken such a shine to her.
Click the headline of this post for more photos of Social Distortion and Jade Jackson at Jannus Live.
-- Jay Cridlin