If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old

Social Distortion's Mike Ness

There’s nothing like a punk concert to make me feel like an old man. Typically, when we actually get out to a show, my wife and I are the old folks, surrounded by teenage fans of the bands we enjoy. These events often engender thoughts of “When I was your age” and scoffs at the annoying tweens singing along to the trendy opening band that I couldn’t care less about.

Friday, however, was a different experience. My wife and I trekked to Allentown PA’s Croc Rock to catch the Social Distortion show. Social D shows are the rare type of concert where many, or even most, of those in attendance are older than my wife and I. This was the case, as the crowd was diverse, ranging from teens to twentysomethings to babyboomers to parents with their kids. Greasers in their 50’s were as plentiful as mallcore kids straight out of your local Hot Topic… but I digress.

This show proved that my wife and I are old people. Sure, the concert was pretty loud and left my ears ringing for nearly 24 hours, but that’s not why. It was all about stamina. I’m not built to stand for 4+ hours straight getting shoved around. My wife is not built to get pummeled over and over by a drunk 50 year old dude in a leather jacket playing air guitar despite lack of room to do so. I’m not built to have a sweating large teenage girl rubbing up against me, jiggling in all the wrong place for the final 2 hours of the show. Neither of us are built to drive over and hour, stand through all of this, and then drive home an hour, unless we go straight to bed… which we certainly did.

I’ve come to realize that venues without a seated bar area more or less suck. When I was young, I liked being in the thick of things. When I was about 19 or 20, I began looking forward to turning 21 so I could sit in the bar at shows if I wanted. When I was 21, I waited the next year for my wife (then girlfriend) to turn 21 so we could permanently park in the bar for all concerts, where the only seats tend to be. Now, I am reminded why these were milestones. Being able to sit down at a show is not just a luxury at this point, it’s basically a necessity. Sore and tired, I left the show more exhausted than I’d been in quite some time.

The show? Oh yeah, the show. It was a damn good one, despite my oldness. A cool two piece from California called Middle Class Rut opened up with fervor… rock, with some indie leanings and a punk rock ferociousness. Strangers were a great example of what is right about punk rock, bratty and in-your-face without throwing away good songwriting and catchy hooks. Never heard either of these bands before the show, but intend on listening to both of them afterward… which means they were pretty good, because I usually think nothing much of the openers as of late.

Social D did what they always do, kicked ass. They didn’t play two of my favorites, “Prison Bound” and “I Was Wrong”, or my wife’s absolute favorite Social D tune, “When She Begins”, but they did play most of the other tunes we love. They also busted out 3 tracks from their not yet recorded album, including a great song entitled “You Can’t Take It With You”. This song reminded me of the maturity and journey of Mike Ness, a man with perspective and insight into the harshness of life. Killer set overall.

Good show, tiring night. Mr. Ness, next time you come through the area could you choose a venue where I can sit my old ass down? I’d really appreciate it.

~ by thepaintedman on October 20, 2009.

2 Responses to “If It's Too Loud, You're Too Old”

  1. […] by Brooke drooling over a picture of Mike Ness that I posted on my blog, I decided to put this list together. Without further […]

  2. […] year, I had the opportunity to see a great band called Middle Class Rut open up for Social D in Allentown,… (or the Crotch Rot, as some of the locals like to call it). This duo rocked my face off and […]

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