By Pepper

Show me a punk rocker who doesn’t like Johnny Cash. Can’t do it, can you?

That’s the argument I present to people when they question how a band like Social Distortion could be placed on the same bill as country acts like Brantley Gilbert and Justin Moore.

In its second year, the Lost Highway Festival brought together fans of outlaw music to San Manuel Amphitheatre to enjoy multiple stages, a motorcycle show and races, vendors, and camping, to name a few of the activities available for the festival attendees.

A significant change from last year was adding Social Distortion to the main stage lineup. Last year, Social D headlined the rock stage, but this year, they were billed in between Justin Moore and Brantley Gilbert, and with their upright bass and fiddle, it could be argued that Social Distortion has more country influence than many mainstream country acts. Audience favorites included “Story of My Life” and “Ball and Chain,” and especially, their cover of Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

Colt Ford and Tyler Farr also performed on the main “outlaw” stage, while Foghat, Eagles of Death Metal, and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played the Quaid Harley Davidson Stage.


Brantley Gilbert’s energy was non-stop from the moment he set foot on stage. He included, in his set, a new song, “Dirty” (from his forthcoming album, tentatively scheduled for release in November), as well as two songs he wrote that Jason Aldean recorded, “My Kinda Party,” and “Dirt Road Anthem,” bringing co-writer Colt Ford back on stage to perform the rap vocals on the latter. He also noted that he’d written “Country Must Be Country Wide” with Colt, before performing the #1 hit.

Brantley revealed a softer side of himself during “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do,” a song he wrote while he and his now-wife were broken up. As he sang, the video backdrop revealed pictures of the couple, leading up to their wedding day, which Brantley then described as “the happiest day of my life.”

Acoustic versions of “Grown Ass Man,” and Hank Williams, Jr.‘s “Outlaw Women” provided a more intimate feel, but the energy picked right back up as a riff of the Star Spangled Banner introduced “Small Town Throwdown,” for which Justin Moore was also brought back on stage (he and Thomas Rhett also perform with Brantley on the recorded version of the song).

He thanked veterans and police officers for their service, describing them as “Real American bad asses,” before dedicating “One Hell of an Amen” to them, as well as those fighting cancer.

“Take It Outside,” “Kick It in the Sticks,” and “Bottoms Up” brought the show to a close, leaving the crowd amped up for what next year’s Lost Highway Festival will bring.



Justin Moore:

  1. Point at You
  2. ‘Til My Last Day
  3. Bait a Hook
  4. You Look Like I Need a Drink
  5. If Heaven Wasn’t So Far Away
  6. Lettin’ the Night Roll
  7. Backwoods
  8. Kick Your Ass
  9. Small Town U.S.A.


Brantley Gilbert:

  1. Read Me My Rights
  2. Hell on Wheels
  3. If You Want a Bad Boy
  4. My Kinda Party (Jason Aldean cover)
  5. Dirty
  6. Guns and Roses
  7. You Don’t Know Her Like I Do
  8. Dirt Road Anthem (Jason Aldean cover)
  9. Country Must Be Country Wide
  10. Grown Ass Man
  11. Outlaw Women (Hank Williams, Jr. cover)
  12. Small Town Throwdown
  13. One Hell of an Amen
  14. Take It Outside
  15. Kick It in the Sticks
  16. Bottoms Up

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