Sunday, August 17, 2008

Rancid Rocks NYC!

So I finally got to SEE one of, if not the hottest contemporary punk band of all time. With their mainstream "hits" drawing from reggae and ska influences, it was their deeper cuts, the pure punk short riffs that got me and the crowd so excited.. and it was an excited crowd. tickets could only be had by scalpers, as all 5 nights at the Fillmore aka Irving Plaza (or visa versa actually) completely sold out. I paid $60 for mine, but did not negotiate. I'm in a generous mood these days. Loaded up on a couple of rancid shirts as well. all in all, a $100 night and no date (rule of thumb for me, no date to punk shows).


Anyway, I digress.. Punk is not about the money, but damn, Tim Armstrong is a poster child of how to be a successful businessman and a bad ass punk rocker. His on stage persona is super cool, with an Elvis or dare I say, Mike Ness like sneer while showing his guitar chops.

His look was Ness inspired as well, with a rain coat and top hat laid low just above his eyes and a bandana underneath. But Armstrong bounces and moves, not just sneers and as a "lead" sits back and lets his bandmates show their chops and man do they have them. Rancid's bass player is the best I've ever seen. Rancid is tight, but in typical punk fashion, rowdy, raucous and they have things to say. With a new record coming out on my favorite label, Tim Armstrong's own Hellcat Records, I'll be buying that one and all the other songs I don't have in their catalog... All of them.

As I found last night, you have to dig DEEP to get Rancid's true depth. Punk legends in the making if not already there, Rancid fans are a mixture. I was expecting more high stepping, mohawk wearing, old school style street punks, but that was not the case. Lots of girls with guys (Saturday night so it WAS date night in NYC I guess?).. mostly 20 and 30 somethings but definitely it can be said the Rancid fans are not only rabid but diverse. Tim A. gave a shout out to the Operation Ivy fans and they responded... so there is some history there (if you consider 1980s history).

The young ladies next to me heralded from Queens, one was from Chile but of Indian descent. We chatted about some great Spanish rock acts but agreed, that in the U.S. bands like Rancid, they really are getting the young Latin rock fan these days.

Opening for Rancid was Murphy's Law, my 2nd time to see them and 2nd time in less than 2 weeks (see previous post on "The Germs" at Blender theater). I can't say enough about the show these guys put on. Their songs are catchy, and cool but its the on stage presence of Lead Singer Jimmy G. that makes the show. The cat is 43 and celebrating his birthday every day this year. He had his trademark Jaegermester to share with the crowd, defys his age every night by partying hard and he made a hell of very risky stage dive from the speakers high above the stage and just bellow the balcony. You can tell these guys are just happy to be playing. I really love these guys. Check them out on myspace or their website if you get a chance. I plan on buying a cd, maybe even a shirt, just in appreciation for what these guys have to say (i.e. "I love my country, but hate my government" EXACTLY!

It was a great night for Punk Rock and has been a great year for punk in NYC! My next stop is the Psychobilly and Rockabilly Showdown at the Knitting Factory in LA over Labor Day Weekend. Look for photos, videos and more coming to that soon.

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