Monday, September 22, 2008

Rancid celebrates its legacy with an energetic sold-out show

Photo info: Tim Armstrong performed with his band Rancid at House of Blues Anaheim on Saturday night, Sept. 20.
This story was posted on on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008
Rancid – both as a band and skilled architect of strong punk rock – has come a long way since the release of its self-titled debut in 1993.
Performing before a packed crowd at the House of Blues in Anaheim on Saturday night (Sept. 20, 2008), the Bay Area quartet played 28 songs showcasing scorching material such as "Adina" and "Rejected" from Rancid's 15-year-old eponymous disc, as well as the more artfully arranged sonic attack displayed on the ska-tinged "Fall Back Down" from 2003's "Indestructible."

Rancid singer-guitarist Tim Armstrong noted at the start of his band's set that the thoughts of all the night's performers were with former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, who is a band mate of Armstrong's in the Transplants, and the others aboard a jet that crashed in South Carolina late Friday.
As of the time this review was written on Sunday morning (Sept. 21, 2008), Barker and celebrity disc jockey DJ AM were expected to fully recover from burns they suffered. However, four other people aboard the Learjet were killed in the crash.

Rancid has been a favorite of the indie punk scene since emerging from the underground with 1995's "… And Out Come the Wolves," and the group (rounded out by bassist-singer Matt Freeman, lead guitarist-singer Lars Frederiksen and drummer Branden Steineckert) continues to deserve its place as a leader of the genre.
Hard, fast tunes are Rancid's favored method of attack, so it's no wonder the band was able to play more than two dozen titles in a mere 75 minutes. A blazing "Black and Blue," Clash-styled "Roots Radicals" and fiery "Maxwell Murder" (the latter displaying Freeman's amazing talents) were among the many songs that had the bravest of souls engaging in as wild a mosh pit as I've ever witnessed at the House of Blues.

Over the past four years, whenever I go to House of Blues, I usually chat for a minute or two with Alex Peguero, a member of the security staff at House of Blues. Perhaps he put it best when giving me his own mini-review of the show.
"The minute Rancid came on, it looked like that curtain," he said in comparing the large multi-colored patchwork of shapes and colors to the huge mosh pit and ordered chaos. "It was energy."

Although the two opening acts were not able to match the power of Rancid's memorable set, both New York City hardcore troupe H2O and Los Angeles female punk foursome Civet each scored with the crowds with vigorous outings.
Capturing the assault of old school '70s L.A. outfits such as the Weirdos and the Dogs, Civet got better as its 30-minute set went along. The romance-gone-bad-themed shout-outs were at their finest in the aptly-titled "Alibis" and set-ending "Hell Hath No Fury."
H2O was similarly effective, with the group focusing on material from the newly-released album "Nothing to Prove." Originals such as "1995," "Nothing to Prove" and especially catchy "Fairweather Friend" served as both sing-alongs and fuel for the slam floor.

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