September 7 at the
House of Blues, Tim, Lars & Co. delivered classic after classic.
It was following “Hooligans” that Lars Frederiksen mentioned
to the audience that Rancid has now been around for twenty years. Has it really
been twenty years? Yep, pretty much.
It’s been eighteen since the release of their debut self-titled album, but loud
and proud Rancid is still Rancid. During those years the band has incorporated
reggae and folk and branched out on their own separate projects but no matter
what they touch they’ve always remained DIY and punk as fuck to a point where
it’s damn near religion.
They opened their 30+ song set with “Radio” and the energy
was through the roof, instant circle pit. Lars was rocking his Old Firm Casual
look, Tim looked like he had some new head ink but all together they don’t look
like they’ve aged that much. Their live style is pure energy start to finish.
Tim Armstrong was constantly running in place, occasionally strumming his
guitar when he felt like it and awkwardly trying to wipe off his glasses while
singing with perfect sloppy charisma. New addition Branden Steineckert,
formally of The Used, filled in seamlessly on the drums and it’s no
exaggeration to say that Matt Freeman is one of the best bass players around
today, if not ever; making it look like nothing to thrash the hell out of
Although Rancid hasn’t released an album since 2009’s Let the Dominoes Fall, the house was
packed and it’s obvious they don’t need to be touring in support of anything
new to bring out the fans. Basically every song is a classic, and Rancid plays
them that way. “Gunshot”, “Root Radicals”, “Nihilism”, “Journey to the End of
the East Bay”, “Bloodclot”… these songs were the banner for the early 90s punk
revival and Rancid still brings it strong, with “Fall Back Down”, “Olympia, WA”
and closers “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” getting the biggest receptions. They also threw in a semi-acoustic set that
included an incredible reworked version of “St. Mary”.
Some bands evolve by changing what they do. Rancid has
evolved by consistently remaining passionate in every aspect of what they do.
While bands that have been inspired by them have come and gone they are as
strong as ever and you can always look to Rancid to define what is core.