Rancid Still a Time Bomb

Cashbox Canada Rancid.jpg

Submitted by Ian Robertson

Review of The Transplants and Rancid

Echo Beach,Toronto (Avenues & Alleyways Fest)

Wednesday June 12th 2013
I missed the first 3 bands which was a mistake. I hooked up with my friends in a park beside Echo Beach when I heard The Transplants vibrations in the air. My friends didn't want to go in yet because they wanted to finish "eating a sandwich" (HIMYM). I zipped up my bag; ditched them. Running, trying to not step on my loose shoe laces, I darted through the crowd of people (young, old, punx, rude boys and everything in between). Luckily, I got to the mosh right as DJ DJ was playing (one of my favourites). I’ve been a Transplants fan for years on years, but never got a chance to see them live. I kinda thought they would be a weird band to see live since they have a lot of samples and different instruments in their tunes, but I was proven wrong by their amazing performance. Tim Armstrong made his presence clear in his cool subtle way, which I’m pretty sure everyone in the crowd wanted to embrace. The first time I saw Rancid was in 2008 and I remember my Joe Strummer shirt got torn from being pressed against the fence in front of the stage but when Tim came out it was worth it to see a musician that I admired from his days in Operation Ivy and on. He also shaved his beard which in my opinion is a better look for him. They played some new songs (that seems promising) off their new album that is set to be released on June 25th 2013.

One of their best songs on of their set was “Sad But True”, a heartfelt song about friends that have passed away. Everywhere I looked I saw people singing along. I only recently started listening to Blink 182, so I have never seen them live, but Travis Barker is a crazy experimental drummer. I think it was during Skinhead Rob's verse in ‘Diamonds & Guns’ that Travis did a crazy half beat tempo which made me dance at a half beat too. Barker's son was also on stage strumming his guitar, bouncing about and singing along, which seems sweet that he gets to be with his son while on tour.

Rancid at Echo BeachRancid at Echo BeachThe pit was full of people bouncing about singing and little moshing. They ended their set with “Tall Cans In The Air”, it seemed that everyone sang every lyric from "nobody move nobody get hurt", "Im chilling smoking cornice while your choking on stress", "I don't sing no never I only shout", to "tall cans in the air lemme see em, f*k you!".

I did the usual between sets thing, trying to find the time to use the restrooms. It was a crowd aging in their 30s and 40s, which actually makes sense as Rancid is celebrating their 21st anniversary as a band. After exiting the washroom area, I noticed their actually was also lot of younger people, showing the appeal of this band. I was far from the stage when I heard Tim's voice/guitar "never fell in love, till I fell in love with you" (Radio), so I did my quick run to the pit again. They went into "Roots Radicals" and "Journey to the End" but then it was time for Matt Freeman (bassist) to shine when they went into "Maxwell Murder". During "11th Hour", Tim did his classic walk across the stage dragging the microphone and in the middle of a grooving part of the song he said how he loves Toronto and how his first time coming to the city was after Operation Ivy broke up and he was Matt's guitar tech, "probably the worst guitar tech ever".

Everyone in the crowd was so positive but the only trouble I found in the pit was the sand; before they played "Dead Bodies" (a fast past song) Lars Frederikson told the crowd to do a circle pit. Of course the crowd was amped up to, but it didn't seem like anyone could do a full circle. Someone would trip in the sand, next person would go to help them up, they'd get knocked from behind and so on. They went into more dance-able numbers like "Old Friend" and "I Wanna Riot". A good treat was when they played "Red Hot Moon" because Skinhead Rob was actually there to do his feature in the song. Half way through "Salvation" they did a really cool transition into "Bloodclot" which I don't think anybody saw coming.

After a couple more songs Lars was alone on stage. He didn't crack jokes like he was doing most of the night; instead he did a solo performance of "At The War’s End" which had the crowd singing along at the top of their lungs. When the rest of the band came back out, Tim said on the mic how he took a moment to have some chicken wings with the other bands which is random but also really funny. The whole crowd was packed with people and as much fun as they were having I think Rancid was having more fun by the energy they gave off. Their set list was unbelievably picked out. Playing for about an hour and a half, there wasn't one song they played that nobody sang along to, including one of their newest "Fuck You" which they got the crowd to sing. The first song they did as an encore was "Rudy Soho". A personal favourite and I think many people's classic favourite. (Jimmy Cliff recently did a cover of it on his new album "Rebirth" which Tim produced.)

Rancid ended their set with "Time Bomb" which of course had the whole crowd bouncing up and down and yelling at the top of their already worn out lungs. After their last strum of a chord and the crowd started to disperse I could see Tim and Lars reaching down saying hi to the people at the front of the barrier which I found so respectful.

With my shoes still kicking out sand and my brain banging out Rancid lyrics I made my way on home with a smile. Rancid – Still a Time Bomb.