When the Interrupters got on stage on July 26, 2013 at the Hollywood Palladium, they were all wearing white dress shirts, thin black ties and black slacks. At first I was skeptical. This was the first time I had heard of them, but I decided to keep an opened mind anyway. The band had a cool ska-punk sound and pretty good anti-police, anti-TSA, anti-NSA and pro-liberty and pro-freedom lyrics. That being said, The Interrupters have a lot of growing as a band to do. They played their music well and really gave it their all, but their stage presence was bit awkward. For example, it seemed extremely pre-planned when the guitarist and the bassist ran around the stage when they didn't have to sing back-up vocals. It was kind of like when the members of Sum 41 jump around in blatantly choreographed circles on stage. It was obvious and distracting. It also seemed like they were using their matching outfits to hide behind instead of focusing more on the music. Those kinds of gimmicks are pretty transparent. It was cool however, that Tim Armstrong came up on stage in the middle of their set to play a song with them.
Next up were The Transplants. To be quite frank, I had never understood why this band was so popular (even before their long hiatus) other than the fact the members are in other famous bands, but there were a lot of people wearing their t-shirts and getting incredibly pumped that they were on stage. So maybe I'm missing something. I was only open to seeing them because Travis Barker is one of the greatest drummers out there right now and he lived up to that standard at this show. When they began playing, it was as if they hadn't taken that long break. Skinhead Rob could still rap/scream like it was still 1999. They played a fair amount old songs like "D.J. D.J.," "Gangsters and Thugs," and "Diamonds and Guns." They played songs from their latest LP, In A Warzone, such as "See It to Believe It," "Back to You," and "In a Warzone." At the end of the performance, Skinhead Rob promised that it wouldn't take them so long to put out a new album like it did this time. Great Rob…can't wait...
Finally, Rancid makes it onto the stage. This could not have been a better performance. The set was also pretty incredible. It was as if Rancid decided to play their greatest hits and nothing else. To the band's credit they played a pretty long set. The energy in the pit and on stage was fantastic. Seeing Matt Freeman sing lead vocals on "Black and Blue" and play that awesome bass solo during "Maxwell Murder" was truly amazing. And Lars and Tim sang and played all of the other songs perfectly. By far the best performances were "Roots Radicals," "Olympia, Wa.," "Roots Radical," "Timebomb,"and "Old Friend." Though the members have their side projects, you could really tell that they loved being in this band the most. They seemed to have the same amount of feeling and energy playing these songs as they did twenty years ago. It was everything you could hope for from a sold out Rancid show.
There was one problem that I had with the The Transplants and Rancid performances. Granted, I can't imagine how hard it is to perform for two and a half hours every night on tour, but Tim Armstrong barely played his guitar during both of his bands' performances. Lars seemed to carry the bulk of the guitar work when Rancid was playing. As someone who has been playing guitar for over a decade and having been in the second row for most of the concert, I could tell that when Tim did play his guitar he just played the top two strings most of the time instead of all six when he played chords. It was doubly confusing when he changed guitars between songs, too. It's not like he was shredding on them, unless the other guitar was tuned differently. You can see him do the same thing in videos filmed years ago on YouTube, too. Just a thought. That was kind of disappointing, but overall this was a great show.
Journey to the Center of the East Bay
The 11th Hour
Last One to Die
I Wanna Riot
Red Hot Moon
Black & Blue
Sammy Was a Punk Rocker
East Bay Night
Black Derby Jacket
Something in the World Today
Fall Back Down
-Skinhead Rob came back on stage during Rancid's performance to bust his rhymes during "Red Hot Moon."
-Sorry, but $30 for a small poster is kind of steep.