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Rancid / H2O

Rancid / H2O: live in Torontolive in Toronto (2008)
Hellcat Records

Reviewer Rating: 4


Contributed by: swankswank
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There's an old joke amongst my friends and I about Rancid shows: "What's the best part about Rancid playing coming to town on a Saturday night? All the cleanly shaved heads on Sunday!" [Insert Statler & Waldorf laughter here] I realize there is a faction of people rocking this style all year roun.


There's an old joke amongst my friends and I about Rancid shows: "What's the best part about Rancid playing coming to town on a Saturday night? All the cleanly shaved heads on Sunday!" [Insert Statler & Waldorf laughter here]

I realize there is a faction of people rocking this style all year round, but the sheer volume (both numerically and of the hair in question) leads me to believe that at least some people see these shows the way others would see Comic Cons or midnight screenings of "Rocky Horror Picture Show," where dressing the part is all part of the immersive experience. Either way, the mohawks were in full effect this Saturday evening in Toronto.

I didn't arrive on time to see Fat's first Toronto signing, the Flatliners, but made sure to get there before NYHC heroes H2O made their triumphant return. Anyone who's heard Nothing to Prove can attest to their seven-year break doing nothing to slow the band down, and their performance confirmed that. Coming on stage to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" (which was faded out, not stopped abruptly -- "Sopranos" style), the band opened with album opener "1995."

The band's set was short, maybe 10 songs, but enjoyable as always. Highlights included "Family Tree," "One Life, One Chance" and mashing up the intro of "5 Year Plan" with Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." The set ended much the way it began, mirroring the new album with "What Happened?" having Rusty Pistachio filling in on Matt Skiba's closing vocal. They were slightly less energetic than I remember, with fewer jumps and mic-passes from Toby, but that can be chalked up to any number of things, and it didn't detract from the set being one of the best show-going experiences I've had in the last year. Welcome back, H2O!

The show was running a bit late, so it seemed like no time at all between H2O finishing and the lights dimming for Rancid's video introduction. In that short gap, my friends and I discussed what an awesome set we'd seen by H2O, and how Rancid really had to put their best foot forward to avoid being completely upstaged. Well, about three songs into Rancid's set, they introduced their secret weapon: Skye Sweetnam.

Yes, Canada's Miley Cyrus-esque tween-pop singer Skye Sweetnam. I'm not sure if she has made any impact at all in the states, but in Canada she made a brief splash a number of years ago with a song called "Billy Shakespere." The crowd, who had been quite lively up 'till that point, didn't seem to know how to react when they began to play "Into Action," which was featured on both Tim's solo record and Skye Sweetnam's album. Some shrugged it off and danced, others stood confused.

Not to be outdone, I sincerely hope NOFX's upcoming set in the same venue features guest spots from a one-hit-wonder Canadian pop singer. Anyone know what Snow is up to? Seeing him sing "Kill All the White man" would be a dream. But I digress...

Apart from that, Rancid's set had very few clunkers. As they're not touring with an album this time around, this was something of a "greatest hits" type of showing, heavy on Wolves and Indestructible material including "Roots Radicals," "Journey to the End of the East Bay" and encore "Fall Back Down." Sadly, the set was light on material from Life Won't Wait (my personal favorite) and Rancid (2000). "Maxwell Murder" featured an extended bass solo by Matt Freeman, at times sounding like the monster intro to "Axiom."

Rancid's set was lively as ever, but due to a few missteps in song selection, from where I was standing (which apparently included a sign nearby that said "pour full cups of beer down this man's shorts" -- it happened more than once) the night belonged to H2O.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
AlChron77 (August 18, 2008)

This show is coming to Salt Lake. I'm going for H2O. Rancid is a half-bonus.

SilentStorms (August 18, 2008)

Oi punk is the reason that I didn't get into punk for 3 years, because I thought all punk was that bad. Fuck Rancid.

client-9 (August 17, 2008)

I think H2O's new album is their best. 'GO" could have sounded more like "Nothing to Prove", but the production just sucked.

bxbomber (August 16, 2008)

The show in nyc on thurs nite was pretty much the same setlist as thier show 2 years ago at bbkings.

Bouncingseth (August 16, 2008)

I've seen them twice in NY so far. The first night, I was absolutely blown away by the set. But then they played almost the identical set the second time I saw them. Even though it's a great set, I don't want to see them play it twice. Why would a band that's playing 5 shows in the same venue repeat the set list? F'n lame if you ask me...

oskorei (August 16, 2008)

I wonder how tired Matt Freeman is of playing the Maxwell Murder solo? Is it just me or does the last 50 reviews of Rancid shows i've read all sound the exact same? I used to really like this band too..weird

burntorangepeel (August 16, 2008)

When they played Nashville in June, I was surprised by the songs they played, especially from Life Won't Wait -- just off the top of my head, they played Bloodclot, Who Would've Thought, Hoover Street, and Black Lung (I think). All in all, it was a spectacular show, definitely the best by far out of the three times I've seen them.

VictorIkpeba24 (August 15, 2008)

I'm not fan of H2O on CD, ut they're a GREAT live band.

mikeinflames (August 15, 2008)

i was at both shows. H2O's set was awesome. and they played for a good 45 minutes (as did sick of it all on sunday night).
as for rancid. they played far less "hits" at these shows than they did the last time they were in town.

mattramone (August 15, 2008)

Did Tim remember the guitar notes and their correct sequence?

cpp_ (August 15, 2008)

Yeah I saw the sunday show, and appart from not being able to see a thing because of the overwhelming numbers of mowhawks people had to have, it was mediocre. I really believe that Sick of it All owned the show, that night. Rancid is really becoming one of those bands that arn't that much fun to see live anymore, which is a shame because they used to be allot of fun.

blip (August 15, 2008)

mohawks are the best! i get so disappointed when i go to punk shows and it's all generic looking people like me. the crowd is half the entertainment!

kidgotham (August 15, 2008)

Your snow suggestion made me laugh. Did Tim at least remember the words to the songs this time? Every time I have seen Rancid, he always forgets the words and Lars has to bail him out. I guess that's what your "Crew" is for.

IAmMclovin (August 15, 2008)

"Yes, Canada's Miley Cyrus-esque tween-pop singer Skye Sweetnam"

What in the fuck? Score is for this bullshit.

capitalist_pig (August 15, 2008)

When Rancid played in Philadelphia Sunday night they only played one song from Indestructible ("Fall Back Down") and nothing involving underage Canadian pop-singers. Overall I was pleasantly surprised by both the song selection and how tight they sounded.

Also, Big D & the Kids Table opened and were fan-fucking-tastic.

necktattoo (August 15, 2008)

i can tell you that no, Skye Sweetnam has not made any impact in the States.

badseed (August 15, 2008)

"As they're not touring with an album this time around, this was something of a "greatest hits" type of showing, heavy on Wolves and Indestructible material"

Every Rancid show since 1995 has been something of a "greatest hits" type of showing, heavy on Wolves material.

I love the band - I'll be seeing them for the sixth time in a few months - but they're not exactly renowned for changing up their setlist.

joemomma420666 (August 15, 2008)

rancid sux the best band is galight anthujm

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