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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great show almost screwed up by sucky editing
I saw that someone else made a similar mention to this, but whoever edited/directed this movie needs to stay away from Social Distortion's works in the future, because if it was ever possible to screw up a Social D production, this guy/gal almost did it.

*For one, the black and white film with the FAKE digitized lines running through the screen to make it look...
Published on August 7, 2004 by G. B. Barker

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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let the music do the talking
If you're an S.D. fan, you might be annoyed at the failure of "Live In OC" to capture the band's full grit and energy. If you're not yet a fan, you'll most likely not have such high expectations, and get around some of the glaring faults of this dvd.

Filmed at the end of a month-long run of nightly shows in L.A. and O.C.,the band does not come across sparking...
Published on August 7, 2004 by K.K.


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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Let the music do the talking, August 7, 2004
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
If you're an S.D. fan, you might be annoyed at the failure of "Live In OC" to capture the band's full grit and energy. If you're not yet a fan, you'll most likely not have such high expectations, and get around some of the glaring faults of this dvd.

Filmed at the end of a month-long run of nightly shows in L.A. and O.C.,the band does not come across sparking on all 8 cylinders. They seem tired and contrived. I've seen SD countless times over 20+ years so I know their capabilities and I can't help but be a bit disappointed. I can't help but think it would have been wiser to catch them at the beginning instead of the end of the month-long run.

The production itself makes irritating mistakes and comes across somewhat amateurish. The editing is downright maddening at times. The cameraman's choices during the playing are suspect as well. I mean why would you keep the camera on the bass player during one of Ness' best leads of the set? Also instead of the annoying, pseudo-vintage, black and white DV trickery, I would've rather seen a few valid old school clips transferred over from their original film. After all, it would not have been too difficult in this DIY DV age to add a few songs to last year's House Of Blues live performance. From the early '80's Another State of Mind to rarely seen L.A. PBS "New Wave Theatre" clips, not to mention plently of private tapings, older material would have been relatively easy to obtain and gave you that legit vintage feel.

What's not mentioned in other reviews is Ness' somewhat bizarre commentary on the extras. It would have been wiser if he stayed focused more on the band with war stories of tours and the old days rather than, for example, the fact that Ness and his chihuahua are both vegetarians (howl). It would've been cool to share the wealth and get more from current and old band members, club owners, promoters, supporting acts, etc. If you're going to make the effort (after 24 years) to put out a DVD and add extra features, do it right.

This aside, SD fans are very loyal, if not zealots, and I don't see Mike's eccentricities and irritating production stopping them from purchasing "Live in O.C.". (Though I'm sure they're just as critical as I am when it comes to expecting the best possible production and performance) I doubt any new fans will surface out of this project, which is sad. Mike is a senior citizen in punk rock years and I don't see him having the time or opportunity to do another project like this. Too bad, it would have been really cool had it been done right.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great show almost screwed up by sucky editing, August 7, 2004
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
I saw that someone else made a similar mention to this, but whoever edited/directed this movie needs to stay away from Social Distortion's works in the future, because if it was ever possible to screw up a Social D production, this guy/gal almost did it.

*For one, the black and white film with the FAKE digitized lines running through the screen to make it look "vintage?" Give me a break.

*Really poor shot selection. Like just as Mike is launching into a solo, the camera shifts to John, the bass player, who, with all due respect, pretty much just stands there and chews gum the whole time. (For the record, John Maurer is a great bass player, so I'm not trying to disrespect him for that.) It's like as the musical focus goes towards one person, the camera moves away from them. It's annoying and distracting.

*I'll also agree with someone else's comment on here about the energy level of the band. Don't get me wrong - this is a great show, but it's one at the end of a long string of homestands at the Anaheim House of Blues, and you can tell that the fact that they've been playing the same house for two or three weeks is taking some of the freshness away from the performance. I saw them in September of 03 and the band seemed much more into it.

To be clear, this is a great DVD, but when I think about how much I love Social D, I can't bear the idea of a less-than-perfect video. There's lots of great behind-the-scenes stuff in the extras, and it further humanizes one of the greatest, and least well-known men in rock and roll, who is Mike Ness. (For example, I had no idea that he owned a chihuahua and was a vegetarian...) If you give a damn about Social D, you have to own this, but at the same time, I hope to God they come out with something better...and soon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Social D./ Live in O.C., July 22, 2004
By 
C. Hiatt "king of fools" (Minneapolis, Minnesota United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
When Social Distortion released "Live at the Roxy" it was probably the biggest news to hit the punk scene since the death of Sid Vicious. Live music is one thing, Live Punk music is something entirely different. The raw energy was there in every distorted guitar chord and every Mike Ness drawl. The only thing missing was the sweat induced mosh pit. To this day I still feel it's one of the best live albums (next to Johnny Cash's Live at Folsom Prison). So when news hit the punk wire that these Cali rockers were due to release "Live in Orange County", a DVD from a House of Blues concert from January of last year, naturally I was eager to get a copy.

The DVD features some interesting extras; from a backstage dice game with Ness and the other band members to a black and white stroll down the strip with Ness and his '36 Ford. Probably the best extra is an acoustic rendition of "Bad Luck" sung in the bathroom (with the toilet in plain view). The show itself is full of all the raw energy that's made Social Distortion such an icon in the punk and California scene for twenty some odd years. The track listing is varied jumping from old school tracks like "Mass Hysteria", "1945", "The Creeps", and "Mommy's Little Monster" to some more recent "Don't Drag Me Down" and "99 to Life". Also featured on the DVD are two new songs "Footprints on my Ceiling" and "I Wasn't Born to Follow" to be featured on the new upcoming album.

Where the DVD falters is in sound quality (I really would have given it 3 1/2 Stars). The volume had to be turned up quite a bit and even then the sound seemed muffled and no where close to the sound quality on "Live at the Roxy". The picture quality was also a bit of a mystery. It might have been a stylistic quality they wanted to add to the DVD but it jumps from color to black and white (however the black and white portions have a choppy real to real look that is less than desirable). It appears to have more of an overall bootleg appearance to it. Nothing like the clarity and quality found on Vieuphoria (Smashing Pumpkins).

Those two things aside, the DVD is definitely worth viewing on more than one occasion and the avid fan/collector will definitely want to have it (if not to hold them over until the new album). I guess we can always hope that the 25th anniversary edition will be remastered.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Five stars if..., August 2, 2004
By 
S. Kurtz (Almost Asbury Park) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
...whoever directed this or had final say on the visual content would have said "No no no. It's either black and white, WITHOUT those stupid lines running vertically from side to side, or it's color. It's not BOTH!"

Why do directors get in the way of great live performances and, when they're released on DVD, we either get strobe-like camera shots, that make you seasick after one song, or a switch between color and black and white, that makes no sense?

This is a wonderful performance from a great rock and roll band. But somewhere along the line, the director decided he was gonna be a star too, as so many of them do.

And why do the bands approve of this crap?

DON'T, I repeat, DON'T let this keep you from acquiring this DVD. Mike Ness' performance is worth the cost of the disc alone, and the new song, FOOTSTEPS ON MY CEILING, is incredible!

I wish more bands would take Pearl Jam's lead and just shoot the show from a few angles, and let the camera rest when a great angle is achieved. We don't need a director getting in the way with visuals that weren't offered to the original audience in the first place. Why would they think we want them now?

Sound is sterling, and the performance is great.

A five-star if I ever saw one, but I deduct a star because of the direction. Any more wouldn't do the band justice, and they deserve it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for God sakes it's about time!!!!, July 27, 2004
By 
brian "jediblues" (whittier, ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
well finally after a number of bootlegged shows available through various and sundry shady retailers later,we finally have a well taped,great sounding dvd of my favorite band to watch as often as our little hearts desire! no more waiting around for social d to come to town to see them live. no more imagining 'live at the roxy' in our heads as we rock away to the album. no more trying to remember that show we got really drunk at. we have a refresher course available 24 hours a day!
and what a course it is! the band rocks on all the favorites and a new two-which i can't wait to hear on the album. i am a little disappointed about the deletion of 'angels wings' though. it's probably one of the most touching of all social d songs. but the outstanding performance delivered pretty much makes up for it. mr ness makes a good point in the interview seen in the extras section- he says that mommy's little monster and the other older songs are all much more fun to play now than they were then because they are better musicians. i agree. although the mlm album is awsome-they are performed better with the skill and grace that only an older experienced skilled musician (you hear that guitar player magazine!!!!!??) can deliver. they are no less slower or more frenetic than 21 years ago-just better at their craft! mike and company continuously demonstrate that the smaller amount but signifigant amount of success they have enjoyed keeps them in touch with their fans and most importantly themselves.they seem to be having such a great time on stage. big props goes to johnny wickersham the newest guitar player, filling the big shoes of dennis dannell! he'd be awfully proud! i can't stress enough that this dvd should be in the players of all social d fans! another small disappointment was the lack of a booklet inside the dvd. some great liner notes and more pictures would have made this perfect. but it does have some nice extras that include a humorous interview of the band, a great semi a capella/acoustic performance of 'bad luck' and others that need to be seen. great job guys and all at time bomb recording! a job long overdue.

now if we can just get that album out.....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live bands ever, August 7, 2004
By 
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
If you have never seen Social Distortion live, I suggest you be on the look out for them this Fall and make it a priority.

I enjoyed the DVD, having ordered it right away.

The extras are really cool, which makes DVDs more enjoyable in the first place.

That being said, I am a little suprised that they chose one of these shows from that leg of touring to use for the DVD.

We saw them here in San Diego at SOMA right around when this was filmed and they all looked really tired.

The in-your-face, rapid-fire playing and a little bit of something was missing.

When we saw them again after a rest (which, strangely enough seems to be when the picture on the front was shot) in Oct of 2003, they were rested and 100 percent and kicked serious ass.

Don't get me wrong, any SD show is better than 95 percent of any other bands' shows, but I did notice on this leg they were notched down a bit.

Please check the DVD, though as it is still very much worth it.

As a fan, you will love the extras as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where is the energy?!?!?, August 18, 2004
By 
C. Demeter (Cincinnati, OH) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
I first saw these guys back in '89 opening for The Ramones. I was totally blown away by their energy and catchy tunes. Since then I have always loved Social D. I have seen them 2 or 3 times over the past 15 years and have always seen that same energy. This DVD does not seem to have that. The band sounds very good, but there is something missing. The crowd doesnt really seem to be that into it either. The extra's are a complete waste. I almost felt embarassed for Mike just watching them. Overall its not too bad of a DVD. I was really hoping to have something to show someone that has never seen Social D live and say "...Now you wanna see one of the best live punk bands ever?" Unfortunately this DVD does not do that. If you want to see a great live punk DVD, check out "On the Road With the Dropkick Murphys". It has an awesome concert with some really great extra's that show some other dimensions of this great band. And it also has all of their music videos. I really wish the Social D DVD could have followed the same example. If your a fan, you will probably like it. I prefer listening to Live at the Roxy over watching this though.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great DVD for fans, December 4, 2005
By 
Phil (Eastern Mass, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
Yes, it's true that if you've seen Social Distortion in the years prior to this performance you probably saw a more powerful band. I saw them on the "White Light, White Heat, White Trash" tour and they could have put any youthful band of punk rockers to shame.

But what primarilly makes Social Distortion (or any band for that matter) great is the quality of their song craft and Social D's songs have great lyrics and great hooks. The more "laid back" performance really puts the spotlight on these outstanding and memorable songs.

One thing particularly that made me smile watching this DVD was the audience. Sometimes audience members in a concert film look very awkward or behave obnoxiously because they have a camera pointed at them, but these guys (and girls) are just having the time of their lives! You know they walked out of that show feeling great! Good for them!

Finally, Mike giving props to the late greats Joey Ramone and Joe Strummer is a great moment. Might even choke you up a bit.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must see for all S.D. fans., February 11, 2005
By 
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This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
Of course all fans of Social D must see this. This show was filmed at the House of Blues in Anaheim. The only problem with the show is that the guys are getting older and it shows. There is not much energy like you expect to see. I think Mike Ness summed it up best, when he refered to the crowd as the Sunday Nighters. The crowd seems a little lackadaisical. Probably due to it being an all ages crowd. The DVD has great extras, and the production value is excellent. You need to check it out, but of course it is not classic Social Distortion. I saw them the same year this was filmed in San Diego in a small club, much higher energy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A must for fans....but try and keep it under $10, January 14, 2005
By 
Deanmozzer (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Social Distortion - Live in Orange County (DVD)
Having been to a few of their shows, I thought a live performance of theirs on DVD couldn't go wrong. Many of the other reviewers cited the poor performance/lack of motivation in this show. I totally agree. This show was far from the energy usually put into their other live shows. You can tell Mike Ness probably rolled out of bed that morning saying "S#%T man, I gotta go to work tonight". It shows by the dazed/confused look he has on his face during "Making Believe". He almost appears to be making goo-goo eyes at an infant instead of his trademark scowl. Trust me, it wasn't just that song. Even the crowd didn't seem to be feeling it.

Still, I would take Social D on their worst night over most other bands. The DVD itself isn't too bad, and if you consider yourself a hardcore fan, you certainly want to pick this up. The extras are pretty interesting as it captures the band in a documentary-type setting (without the one-on-one closeups), a soundcheck, and the "Nona Split" which presents most of the show with around nine different angles at once.

Highlights:

Rollin' for 4-5-6

Mike brings out a small child wearing a "Mommy's Little Monster" shirt. It was HILARIOUS to see the look on this kid's face (who was understandably a little stage shy), as Mike grips the nape of this kid's neck. Mike didn't mean anything by it, i'm sure those tattooed paws wear a little heavy on anyone...much more so on such a young kid.

Nothing says PRISON BOUND like rolling around in a '36 Ford 3-window coupe with your chihuahua.

The band has gotten softer, which often comes with age. The DVD showcases the band at this time in their careers. It won't be for everyone, but if you can find it for under ten bucks it's a pretty good buy. The guys obviously love what they do if they're still producing quality music today, but that was an off night. I forgive you as well Mike, just next time...maybe along with a video collection...make a show more like the LIVE AT THE ROXY cd.
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Social Distortion - Live in Orange County
Social Distortion - Live in Orange County by Social Distortion (DVD - 2004)
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