The legendary longboard surf spot Doheny Beach in Dana Point, California hosts the annual Ohana Festival, which has earned the reputation as an acoustic heavy gathering of music for musicians. This year festival promoters opened the three-day event with two bands that tore a hole in Ohana’s reputation by booking alternative rock icons, The Pixies to open for the charismatic and legendary Social Distortion. The Pixies were undeniably the best band of the weekend (and I went to all three days of Ohana). They were tight (Pixies lead guitarist is a rare talent), cool, pure 90’s alternative bliss; classic in their use of riff breaks to hint at drama and on key with every vocal harmony. The Pixies got the sleepy forty year olds onto their feet and drew the high school students (so many high school students!) into a pseudo pit that had just enough energy to set the tone for Social Distortion.
Saying “Mike Ness” and “$14 beer with $8 french fries” in the same sentence is undoubtedly an unnatural pairing. But, the fans at Ohana Festival were all too happy to see Orange County’s original bad boy Mike Ness perform Social D favorites in a fun set that inspired more raw energy than Saturday and Sunday’s lineups combined. The highlight of the evening was when Eddie Vedder came out on stage to sing “Ball and Chain” with Social D – it was fun, unique, and unexpected.
– Sarah Tonin
13 Stitches Magazine