The Boss joined the Californian punks at the Sea. Hear. Now festival
Julian Marszalek
11:53 2nd October 2018

Following yesterday’s news of the Johnny Marr and Eddie Vedder love-in, Bruce Springsteen knocked his Broadway residency on the head to join punk band Social Distortion for a surprise three-song set at the Sea. Hear. Now festival in Asbury Park, NJ.

The pairing happened on Sunday evening (30 September) and any fans of Springsteen who’d gone to see Jack Johnson’s headline set on the main stage instead must have been kicking themselves later. Joining the roots-influenced punk band onstage, Springsteen tore through a spirited cover of Johnny Cash’s 1963 classic, ‘Ring Of Fire’, as well Social Distortion originals, ‘Misery Loves Company’ and ‘Bad Luck’. And do you know what? They totally kick arse. Springsteen’s inner punk is brought to the fore, especially on the Cash cover. Check them out here…

Not that this is the first time that Bruce Springsteen and Social Distortion’s Mike Ness have shared a stage together. The Boss rocked up on stage for Ness’ 2008 solo show at the legendary Stone Pony to run through ‘Misery Loves Company’, ‘Ball and Chain’, ‘If You Leave Before Me’ and a cover of ‘I Fought the Law’.

Springsteen later returned the favour by inviting Ness onto the stage with the E Street Band in both 2009 and 2012 to perform the 1992 Social Distortion classic ‘Bad Luck’.

Around 30 bands performed at the two-day festival, including acts like Jack Johnson, Ben Harper, Incubus and Blondie. Other acts included Kaleo, Jesse Malin, Brandi Carlile, G. Love and Special Sauce, Milky Chance, The English Beat, Nicole Atkins and festival co-founder Danny Clinch’s band, Tangiers Blues Band.

Photo: Still