Every year (for at least the last eleven) there is an early fall weekend in Chicago that makes the punk rock kid feel like everything\’s right in the world. That weekend is owned by Riot Fest. With everything that R.F. brings to the table, my favorite part of the weekend are the after shows!
I patiently waited for the official after show announcements with the anticipation of a kid on Christmas Eve. There were two shows bands that for one reason or another I\’d not yet been able to experience live. One of those bands was Rancid. I tried to decipher tour schedules, read cryptically written Facebook posts, tweets and sift through the rumors of who would be the main course on the after show buffet. If they did play what would the set consist of, I\’ll be honest here….. It Was Maddening! When the schedule was released it felt almost as if the punk rock forefathers were smiling down on me because that band of East Bay punks that I\’d missed time and time again were in fact playing an after show.
Opening the show was the Los Angeles Ska Punk band, The Interrupters. Other than hearing their song \”Take Back The Power\” on a T Mobile commercial I wasn’t too familiar with their music and I\’m not typically enamored with female lead singers but I went in open minded. The quartet of Aimee Allen and the threesome of Bovina brothers, Kevin, Justin, and Jesse were definitely an incredible fit to open this show. After opening with \”Haven\’t Seen the Last of Me\” The Interrupters riffled off an additional eleven songs including \”Take Back The Power, Babylon\” and even threw in an Operation Ivy cover of \”Sound System\” while taking the set home with Family which is co-written by the Tim Armstrong. Allen constantly danced and interacted with the crowd through their entire set, there truly wasn’t a dull moment. It will be interesting to follow their career and see how high they can soar.
The upcoming set was the meat and potatoes of the whole night. As I mentioned earlier, Rancid has been one of those unicorns for me. I knew that they existed and I loved their music and yet they always eluded me. Well, tonight that all would change! 2015 has been a celebration of sorts for Rancid, it marks the 20th anniversary of their game changing release \”….And Out Come The Wolves\” and to commemorate that feat, the band has playing the record in its entirety. I, like many others questioned if Rancid would play AOCTW for the after show considering that they\’d just done that the day before at Riot Fest. There was an electricity in the air, along with the standard stench of cheap beer but hey… I\’m not complaining!!
As the lights dimmed and the band took the stage, you could actually feel the temperature go up by about 20 degrees. Needless to say, I wasn’t the only one happy to be here. Without a second wasted, Rancid exploded into Radio off of the 1994 release Let\’s Go. Without a wasted second, Armstrong shifted into high gear with epic renditions of classic Rancid tracks Roots Radicals, Journey to the End of the East Bay & Maxwell Murder. It was at this point of the 25 song, hour and forty minute set that the eighteen year old punk rock kid HAD to get into the pit.
As the face of Rancid, Tim Armstrong did his standard spinning and dancing between his vocal duties that he\’s known for. Lars Frederiksen, the calm, cool & collected guitar player/vocalist proved to everyone in the house that he was the glue that holds things together.
On top of playing the majority of ..And Out Come The Wolves, Rancid did manage to dig deep into their back catalog by playing tracks such as, Tenderloin, St. Mary & Black & Blue. Finishing their set with the iconic and timeless tracks Olympia WA. & Time Bomb met with a raucous reaction of appreciation from the exhausted faithful. As the band exited the stage, there wasn’t a person that didn’t expect that there would be an encore.Within seconds, Rancid angelically appeared and returned to their posts on stage with the obvious intent of blowing the roof off the House of Blues with an encore that consisted of Fall Back Down, The Way I Feel & Ruby Soho.
On the advent of finally seeing Rancid, there were several things that I walked away with. The first and most important was that it is without question that these middle aged punks still enjoy playing together! Secondly, I\’ll quote the night\’s opening song Radio, When I got the music, I got a place to go!
- Roots Radicals
- Journey to the End of the East Bay
- Maxwell Murder
- The 11th Hour
- Honor Is All We Know
- Last One to Die
- East Bay Night
- Dead Bodies
- Old Friend
- I Wanna Riot
- Listed M.I.A.
- Black & Blue
- You Don\’t Care Nothin\’
- It\’s Quite Alright
- St. Mary
- Olympia WA.
- Time Bomb
Fall Back Down, The Way I Feel & Ruby Soho
[lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Rancid and The Interrupters in Chicago/RANCID/\”][lg_slideshow folder=\”2015/Rancid and The Interrupters in Chicago/THE INTERRUPTERS/\”]