ACL Live Shots
Reviewed by Richard Whittaker, Fri., Sept. 23, 2011
Social DistortionZilker Park, Sept. 18
The low-slung guitars, the swaggering attitude, and the blue-collar aggression are still there. Yet "Mommy's Little Monster" is all grown up and then some. Entering to "Mannish Boy," these aged road dogs have more than a little grizzled gray around their muzzles. While Social D remains Mike Ness' rebellious middle-finger salute, these days there's more Americana than Mainliner to their suburban strife. The Californians have even reached the point in every veteran punk's career at which adding a Pogues-esque accordion is mandatory, but who knew they were a show band? Adding two funk-drenched backing singers transplanted "California Hustle and Flow" from Fabulous Thunderbirds territory into a fully fledged "Rocks" Primal Scream. No reason for the old school fans to panic: "So Far Away" was a grease-covered kick in the teeth, and "Ring of Fire" still burns like a flame job on a '54 Chevy.