Rancid / The Transplants – Live (July 13th, 2013)

  • Bobby Gorman posted
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Rancid / The Transplants

Live (July 13th, 2013) - Commodore Ballroom - Vancouver, BC

For the first time in a while, a sold out show actually felt like a sold out show in Vancouver. 

Walking into the Commodore well into The Interrupters‘ set, the venue was already filled from wall to wall. Beers were being slung, old friends were catching up with one another, and the pit was dancing along to the ska-tinged melodies of the female-fronted band. When Tim Armstrong came on stage for the closing anthem, My Family, cheers overtook the venue and the show went off. It felt refreshing and energizing, as if a true punk show was about to begin.

A quick set change over and Armstrong was back with The Transplants for his first full set of the evening. The band, featuring Skinhead Rob and Travis Barker, was flanked by Left Alone`s Elvis on second guitar and the bassist from The Interrupters; and, to put it bluntly, they absolutely killed it.

Skinhead Rob was a monster on stage, that would make Toby Morse proud and any New York Hardcore fan sing along in appreciation. Live, the songs felt harder, harsher and more in your face than their recorded counterparts; and it was clear as they busted into In A Warzone that the crowd was there in equal measures for The Transplants as  they were for Rancid.

Nothing could stop the momentum they put forth as they riffled through an hour long set with intensity and ferocity, plowing through tracks like DJ DJ, Tall Cans in the Air, Sad but True, American Guns, Diamonds and Guns, Gangster and Thugs and even a blistering Blitz cover. If the show ended there and then, with only The Transplants having played, the night would`ve been a success and I would`ve left happy. That, however, wasn`t the case.

Instead Berkley punk legends Rancid took the stage to end the night and prove that punk was alive and well in Vancouver. The band – Tim Armstrong, Matt Freeman, Lars Frederiksen, and relative newcomer Branden Steineckert on drums – didn`t need theatrics or fancy lights to make a show. Instead they let the music do the talking and the crowd ate it up. Yes there was banter – the story of how Freeman sliced his thumbs open in Olympia and had to duct tape a pick to it in order to play – and little inside jokes were passed through the band members but the focus was on the songs as travelled back and forth through their entire career but focused heavily on the legendary And Out Comes The Wolves album.  Amidst Nihilism, Last One To Die, Olympia WA, Journey To The End of East Bay, Maxwell Murder, Black and Blue and Roots Radical, they also found time to premiere a new song (called Fuck You) from a recent Oi! streetpunk compilation and their new album tentatively titled Honor is All We Know.

The pit was a non-stop flurry of action, skanking, moshing, singing arm in arms with strangers that by the time they pulled out Time Bomb in the encore everyone was friends. It was a sold out show worthy of being called sold out and now it`s time to lace up my Chucks and do it all again tonight.