Rancid/The Mighty Mighty Bosstones/OFF! - Live in Los Angeles (Cover Artwork)
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Rancid / The Mighty Mighty Bosstones / OFF!

Live in Los Angeles (2015)

live show


New Year’s Eve can really suck. The last few have usually involved me drinking pretty excessively with people from high school who I really don’t enjoy being around. For New Year’s 2015 I decided to break the mold and instead went to The Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds in Los Angeles for the first annual Bash.

The Bash was a semi-fest show. The reason I say that is because there were two stages. The main stage line up was The Interrupters, OFF!, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Rancid playing all of …And Out Come The Wolves. During these performances, Elvis Cortez, Steve Soto, Nathen Maxwell and Kevin Seconds did some acoustic performances over at the smaller Fender Acoustic Stage.

6 p.m.: Before The Interrupters even got on stage DJ Boss Hooligan Sound System played mostly early ska and dub reggae records for an hour and a half set, but what was noteworthy about his set was that towards the end he played Motörhead’s “Ace of Spades” in honor of the late Lemmy Kilmister. This would not be the last time Lemmy was honored during this show.

7:30 p.m.: Every time I have seen The Interrupters live they always seem to get better each time -- this show included. Despite one minor technical difficulty during the song “White Noise,” they played a very tight half-hour set. The Bivona brothers were all dressed up in special black suits with white ties while Aimee Allen stuck to her signature “all black with a fedora” look. They played songs like “A Friend Like Me,” “Liberty” and “Take The Power Back.” Two of the Bivona brothers were jumping and running around stage like they always do. There were two very cool standout moments that occurred during the band’s set though. The first being that they played a pretty killer cover of Operation Ivy’s “Sound System” during which Tim Armstrong did come out and sing for a bit. The other standout moment was when Mr. Timebomb and his noticeably huge beard came back out on stage for his part during The Interrupters’ song “Family.” What was absolutely amazing was even though this band does get a lot of hate, the crowd during this show was going absolutely wild during their performance. People were genuinely shouting and singing along and there was a circle pit during each song.

8:20 p.m.: Ok, here is one of the main reasons I wanted to attend The Bash. I usually never miss a chance to see OFF! perform. In a nutshell -- they kicked major ass as usual. But this night they were definitely in their best form. They packed a ton of songs together for their 45-minute set. Just to name a few, they played “Jeffrey Lee Peirce,” “Void You Out,” “Darkness” and “Wiped Out” (probably my favorite song of theirs). But what made this an extra special OFF! show was Keith Morris’s banter. He talked about how he hadn’t been to The Shrine Expo Hall and Grounds since he saw “the genius that was Fugazi” perform there. And he too talked about Lemmy. Keith told a quick story about how seeing Motörhead was one of the loudest experiences of his life.

9:30 p.m.: Now admittedly, of all the bands on the bill The Mighty Mighty Bosstones was the one act I was not very familiar with. However, they put on a very fun and vibrant one hour set. All of the members were wearing fancy blue and black striped suits. “Rascal King” and “The Impression I Get” were definitely a couple of the songs that stood out to me. The most interesting moment of their set was when they got Greg Lee from Hepcat to come on stage and sing with them. That was very cool.

11 p.m.: Before this night, I had never been to a show where a band played one of their albums all the way through. I figured Rancid playing all of …And Out Come The Wolves would be a good first show of this kind for me. And I was right. The band put on a fantastic show from “Maxwell Murder” all the way to “The Way I Feel.” I always get a real kick out of seeing Matt Freeman nail that insane bass solo in “Maxwell Murder” and seeing “Olympia, WA,” my favorite Rancid song, played live. It was incredible. However during this set, Lars Frederiksen quieted the crowd down and spoke few a couple minutes about Lemmy and then asked for a moment of silence for him. The vast majority of the crowd was respectful and was quiet except for a few assholes who purposely shouted during it. Once the moment of silence was over the band continued playing the rest of the album. They absolutely killed “Journey to the End of the East Bay“ and “She’s Automatic” and after seeing them play “Avenues and Alleyways” I totally got a newfound appreciation for that song. They were really at the top of their game -- much better compared to when I saw them a couple of years ago.

Rancid managed to get through the entire album a few minutes before midnight. During this brief period of time Lars introduced some of the other performers to the crowd like Steve Soto, Kevin Bivona (who apparently engineered Rancid’s latest record), Greg Lee and a few others. Then the countdown to midnight began and once the clock struck midnight a ton of red, white, silver and black confetti fell onto the audience. Once all the hugging on stage ended Rancid played “Honor Is All We Know,” “Fall Back Down,” “Tenderloin” and then they ended the night with “Radio.”

So overall going to The Bash was a great way to spend New Year’s Eve. If it will actually become an annual event in LA I think I may make it a tradition to go every year if I can. This being my first “full album” show, I can honestly say that I enjoyed that aspect of it, but it does leave a bit of the surprise element out of the performance and really leaves no real room for other great songs for the band to play. I would have loved to have seen Rancid play “Red Hot Moon” for instance.

As for the kind of crowd at the show, I don’t know if Rancid is a band that brings out the assholes and the “upper crust punks,” and seeing how this was my second Rancid show I really wouldn’t know, but this time around there were definitely a lot of them. It just could’ve have just been a lot of angry drunks partying and celebrating too hard though. That’s fine. It’s pretty much to be expected or at least something to be prepared for.

Unfortunately, I was not able to see any of the acoustic acts because for the majority of the show I was jammed between the barricade and the rest of the audience and honestly the way the venue of was set up it was just too much of a hassle to go back and forth and still get a good view of the main stage. Those were the only drawbacks. Other than those few minor issues, it was one hell of a way to start 2016.

Note:

You can see some pictures and a short video clip of the show on the Punknews.org Instagram account.