So last week we went and saw Mike Ness with Jesse Dayton at the Fillmore near Union Square. Dayton, who I'd never heard before (but who apparantly played with our friends in Lisa And Her Kin at a truck stop in Portland last year unbeknownst to me) got the crowd warmed up nicely and proved himself to be a rock solid country performer. You wouldn't think that a honky tonk version of The Cars' 'Just What I Needed' would work, but it did.
Mike Ness (with the current guitar and bass players from Social Distortion) came out next and while his set was a little shorter than I'd hoped it would be, he did a fine job. He had a lot of enthusiasm and energy on stage and even played a new track. It was nice to see him bring his 'A game' to the stage as the last time I saw him play with Social Distortion back in 2006 he seemed overweight and tired and just not at all into it. Maybe getting out and playing some solo material did him some good. That said, when three of the four members of Social Distortion are touring as 'Mike Ness' what's the point of keeping Social Distortion alive? SD's newer material has slowed down enough that there's really not a big difference between it and the Ness solo stuff. I dunno. Just seems kind of pointless to me to keep two projects going when they're now so close in terms of content and contain almost the exact same band members.
Regardless, it was a good night. The crowd was fairly well behaved and while I don't like paying $7 for a Becks, at a Manhattan club that's not really outrageous.