Dave Hause at The UC Theatre in Berkeley

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Opening for Social Distortion is a tall task, but if anyone is up for that challenge, it’s Dave Hause. No stranger to the punk scene himself (Hause began his career in music as a roadie for Bouncing Souls and Sick of it All and would later go on to front The Loved Ones), Hause and the Mermaid had 35 minutes to win over the eager crowd. Hause and company opened with “Plagiarist” off the forthcoming Blood Harmony record. Following the opener, he burst into “Saboteurs” off 2019’s Kick record.

Acting as if the show was his own, Hause walked the stage with the confidence of a headlining act and commanded attention his way.

The room slowly got more full as the Mermaid ripped through their all-too-brief seven-song set. Dedicating crowd favorite “Dirty Fucker” to those choosing to ignore COVID-19, Hause got the singalongs started for the night toward the end of the song. All in all, I think Hause was a good warm-up act for Social Distortion. While The Loved Ones may have played a little faster for the punk crowd, the Mermaid struck the right chords with their brand of no frills or BS heartland rock and roll for a crowd there to see Social Distortion. Hause’s new album, Blood Harmony, hits stores and streaming platforms October 22nd.

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