|Rancid, Tiger Army, the Slackers, Roger Miret & the Disasters|
@ the Electric Factory, Philadelphia
Where do you go to find the punks, skins, young teenage high school girls & guys, the parents, grandparents, and everyone in between? Rancid brings ‘em all out. Yes, even some older folks were up in the balcony of the Electric Factory on a Thursday night in Philly. Probably because the 13-year-old girls with the home made “Ruby-Soho” t-shirts weren’t allowed to go by themselves. Rancid has come a long way since the early west coast gigs at Berkley’s famous Gilman Street. They may have had some commercial success and radio airplay, not to mention a gig on Saturday Night Live a few years ago and hit videos on MTV, but Rancid is one group that I feel always stays true to what they are, a punk rock band. Exactly 5 years and 2 weeks from the time I first saw Rancid at this same building on 1998’s Life Won’t Wait tour, they came into this city and rocked a new generation of young fans.
Let’s start from the top though. Roger Miret & the Disasters opened the show, lead by the former front man of NYC’s Agnostic Front. They were ok. Nothing new, nothing special. Roger Miret’s voice is kind of annoying and there were way too many “Oi!’s” goin’ on for my taste. I was a little confused because I could swear he said “this next song is called “Clash City Rockers” but then proceeded to play “Career Opportunities” and didn’t really pay good tribute to “that great Joe Strummer”…anyway, the night went on with the Slackers…
Ska… yea, why not? Old school ska band, the Slackers were actually kind of fun to watch. Man, its been a long time, but they played like the style never died. It was a nice change of pace & it brought back a lot of memories. They didn’t play too long, just enough to remind us all of that crazy phase we all went through… and don’t try to pretend you never went through it.
Tiger Army was next. They played too long. Give them some credit for making a cross-country drive from LA to play the Philly show, but I’m still not really into their style of psychobilly punk rock. The stand up bass was interesting, I just don’t think they’re that good of a band… and I was getting anxious to see Rancid.
The wait was over finally & the 4 guys hit the stage in full energy blast, opening with “Ruby-Soho”. They played a little something from every one of their albums, but Out Come the Wolves got the most action on their set list. There are so many great songs on that album. It still remains one of my favorite albums of all time. I was happy to see them bust out “She’s Automatic”, one of my favorite songs, and Lars’ solo version of “at the War’s End”. Other highlights were Tim Armstrong’s harmonica filled “Cocktails” and “Hoover Street” off the Life Won’t Wait album, and a few hits off their latest disc, Indestructible, including “Red Hot Moon” and “Fall Back Down”. There were of course some songs that were missed, but overall this show didn’t let anyone down. It was a non-stop circle pit. Rancid still has what it takes to wave that good old “Punks Not Dead” banner.
I finally got the chance to meet Tim & Lars after the show. Tim was talking about his latest music adventure with a girl who grew up a few minutes down the road from me in Doylestown, PA- Pink. He collaborated with the pop princess of darkness on her new album. “Why wouldn’t I wanna work with one of the best female singers in the world?” he said. “People give me **** but that’s ok, I don’t care… she’s sexy.” I never thought I’d be convinced to check out a Pink album… Anyway, what a night. Punk rock at its youngest, oldest, and finest. Great job East Bay boys… keep it up!