And now for something completely different. No Eddie. No Vova. Nothing about clearing or derivatives or Obama or Gary Gensler. Instead, this is a concert review-and crowd review.
This evening I spent 80 minutes in full body contact/hand-to-hand combat at the Rancid show at House of Blues in Houston. By far the wildest, most intense show I’ve ever seen. I thought the Dropkick Murphys crowds were insane, but they had nothing on the crowd tonight. I was at the rail the entire show: close enough to read every letter on Lars’s somewhat fading “skunx” forehead tattoo. I’ll say that I forced my way up there with brute strength, but truth be told it was more like I was propelled there, and then spent the night fending off attacks from three sides. The advantage of the rail is that you are protected in the front and can use it for leverage I made some new friends-Niko, who shouted all the lyrics in my ear, and who clung to me for protection, and the burly guy who kept trying to elbow me aside until he finally gave up, put his hand on my head and shook it around, saying “you’re a bad motherfucker. I like that.” Mom will be so proud.
Because of the way things were, there was no way I could take pics, except a couple during song intros which I’ll post later.
As for the show. Rancid killed it. I’ve only seen them once before, at a bigger venue, and in an abbreviated (50 minute) set where they were the lead in act to Rise Against (which is a lame band, IMO-Jeez I can’t stand them). Here they were the headline act, and played 80 minutes with just a 5 minute break. They were excellent. High energy, very tight. They played songs from every one of their albums, including several from my favorite, Rancid 2000. Black Derby Jacket was my favorite. Matt Freeman just killed it on the bass. That guy is unbelievable. Best bass player I’ve ever heard or seen. His fingers just fly over the frets. It’s not just rhythm, it’s melody, and melody that you feel in your solar plexus. No one else even comes close.
One interesting observation. Lars was wearing Oxfords. Very funny. Another observation. One kid went over the rail and security grabbed him, and put him in a headlock. Stupidly, he put up a fight against the burly security guys (probably because he was obviously very wasted) . As he was being wrestled away, Lars bent down, put his hand on the kid’s hand and told him to be cool and settle down.
Um, when Lars Frederiksen tells you to chill, you know you’re out of control.
Tim Armstrong did double duty, performing with Tim Timebomb and Friends as the second act. Very entertaining ska and reggae influenced set. That alone would have been worth the price of admission.
I hope Rancid doesn’t wait 5 years to return to Houston. Hell, I’ll be old by then.