Randy - Live in Montebello (Cover Artwork)


Live in Montebello (2015)

live show

Living a few minutes away from the Ottawa River has offered me two advantages when it comes to seeing live music. First, I live close enough to be able to drive home each night from the super-sized Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello; and second, the traditional powerhouse punk band from Sweden known as Randy have played several exclusive North American dates over the years solely in Canada’s northeast. Not in California, not in New York and not even at The Fest in Gainesville. These two factors collided this summer as Randy were booked to play on day one of Amnesia Rockfest in Montebello.

One of my most vivid and favorite memories of going to shows over the years was when I first saw Randy in 1999 at a dive bar that was so empty I remember pulling up a barstool beside the stage to watch without any chance of it getting knocked over or crowding anyone else’s view. I went into that show not having heard a single song in advance and left as a fan for life. I was lucky enough to catch Randy twice more since then, but with the last time being almost nine years ago, I couldn’t wait to see the band again in Montebello.

After arriving early through some unpaved forest roads to avoid the festival’s snarled highway traffic, I was able to catch full sets by The Bouncing Souls and Voodoo Glow Skulls before it was Randy’s turn up on the Tony Sly stage. Appearing without a banner and an absolutely no frills appearance, the boys very humbly kicked into the opener “Little Toulouse.” The sound was solid and their musicianship was on point. About 8,000 or so people were watching and reacting with moderate applause; I still got the feeling that this was a band you sort of have to know about to appreciate fully, which doesn’t always translate well into a setting with so many casual fans checking different bands out for the first time. Nonetheless, I was stoked as they stormed through a set of classic, fast bangers including my personal favorite, “Cheater,” where front man Stefan Granberg told the crowd in a heavy Swedish accent “…cause that’s what you all are!”

As the set came to a close with the very appropriate ending anthem of “Working Class Radio” I felt that I saw something special, but maybe not quite as special as what I saw years ago. Granberg bluntly summed this up earlier in the set when a fan was calling out song titles: “'Proletarian Hop?' Never. That’s too hard for old people to play… and we don’t play anymore so we’re not as good as we used to be but this is as good as you’re gonna get these days!”

Set list:

1. Little Toulouse
2. Going Out With The Dead
3. Addicts of Communication
4. Rockin’ Pneumonia & The Punk Rock Flu
5. I Don’t Need Love
6. Cheater
7. Karl Marx & History
8. Me & The Boys
9. Working Class Radio