Just like old times: Social Distortion, Adolescents, Joan Jett all in WNY tonight
blog by Ben Kirst • June 11, 2013 @ 11:59am
If you feel like American punk rock peaked somewhere around 1983, then this is your big day.
A trio of bands from that seminal era are all in Buffalo—well, Lewiston, too—tonight.
Here are your options:
1.) Social Distortion: 7 p.m., Town Ballroom (681 Main St., Buffalo). Let’s be clear from the outset—this show is sold out. There aren’t even tickets left on StubHub. There are ways to procure passes from the secondary market (scalpers?), but that’s on you and how much you are willing to spend. Anyhow, Social Distortion roared out of Orange County in the late 1970s and peeled off a chaotic string of classic cowpunk albums (Mommy’s Little Monster, Prison Bound, Social Distortion) that chronicle a dark, wild ride through love, drugs and death. Frontman / guitarist Mike Ness is a living legend and the band is touring in support of its seventh album —and first in six years—Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes.
2.) The Adolescents: 10 p.m., Waiting Room (334 Delaware Ave., Buffalo). Tickets start at $12 for this 21-and-over show. The Adolescents are not just contemporaries of Social Distortion—they actually grew up in the same California town (Fullerton) and shared band members. The bands are touring in tandem at the moment, and each will hit Toronto on Wednesday and Quebec later this week. The Adolescents’ self-titled debut album, released in 1981, is probably still their most definitive musical statement.
3.) Joan Jett and the Blackhearts: 6:30 p.m., Artpark (450 South 4th St., Lewiston). Tickets are $10 and are available online. Admittedly, referring to Joan Jett as “punk” may be stretching the definition of the genre a bit, but Jett’s work with The Runaways—an all-female four-piece that enjoyed worldwide (if not American) notoriety in the late 1970s—straddled the hard rock / punk divide as well as any artist of the generation. Her solo success in the early 1980s helped make punk rock palatable for middle America (for better or worse). Jett recently re-released her hard-edged Bad Reputation album, a glam-punk scorcher that earned a spot on Rolling Stone’s 50 Coolest Records of All Time list.