Saturday, June 14, 2008

Rancid Live at La Zona Rosa

Friday the 13th is always a good night to go to concert. It's as if the day, which is supposed to be bad luck, is made for hardcore rock shows of some sort. This Friday was no different. Punk rock veterans Rancid came through Austin to play at La Zona Rosa. I knew it would be awesome because I have seen them twice before, but that was over ten years ago when they were on Warped Tour. I have never seen them like this, in a smaller venue where they are the headliner. I looked forward to it all week.

I first started listening to Rancid around my freshmen year of high school when "...And Out Come the Wolves" came out. That was their third album, so yeah I got on their bandwagon a little late. Oh well. I have ridden that wagon ever since.

The opening band on the bill was a local punk act I was unfamiliar with, called "Ill Spent Youth”. I had heard the name and remember seeing their name listed on the Red River page in The Austin Chronicle. I also saw them on a flyer for a party over at the Sober Daze house.

I arrived at La Zona Rosa just as they started. I listened to a couple of their opening songs and my first impression of them was that they were just "alright" to me. No they didn't suck, they just didn't "wow" me. I did like the songs they had with the trombone player. I wish I could tell you the name of those songs, but I since drank those brain cells away. Honestly, the most memorable part of their set was how quickly and abrupt it ended. I remember hearing, "We got one more" and then they had to walk off for some reason or another. In all honesty, I did want to hear that last song as most bands save their best for last.

Lower Class Brats, another Austin based punk band came on after Ill Spent Youth. I noticed these guys looked a little older than Ill Spent Youth and had the necessary mohawked member that all punk bands should have. Like with Ill Spent Youth, I had heard the name plenty of times and seen them on myspace before. I was actually interested in seeing them simply because they were the and right before Rancid, so I figured they had to be decent. I always love discovering good local punk bands. What I did not expect was for them to be as good as they were.

I mean, where have I been? Can I join the L.C.B. army? These guys were seasoned punk rockers. Their style is more for the hardcore punk rock crowd, as compared to the Green Day or Blink 182 punk loving crowd. I doubt you'd hear them on local radio except for niche market punk rock shows every now and then. I could be wrong. Someone fill me in if otherwise. They sparked the first big circle pit of the night and pretty much had it like that during their whole set. It was during their third or fourth song that people began to push and shove. It was at that point that it became a real punk rock show. I remember hearing crowd responses such as "we don't need your dictionary" and "ultra violent!". Ultra violent (name of song) must be a fan favorite as people were really into that song more than others. Their lead singer, Bones DeLarge, was also the only performer tonight to jump into the crowd as this picture shows. Kudos Bones. Great set.

Thankfully after the Lower Class Brats finished up, there was a few minutes in between sets. I needed to rest my arms and move closer to the front so that I could capture a brief video clip as Rancid came out. I got one clip from the whole night. Check it out:

Right from the get go, the Rancid show became one big pit-push and shove fest. I didn't expect anything less as I have been to plenty of punk shows before. I didn't figure a Rancid show to be any different. It was hard to capture photos as I could not keep my arm up and beer was flying all over the place. So, I engaged in the pushing, shoving, crowd surfer dodging and singing along. At that point I needed to ring out my t-shirt. It was awesome. I stayed up front for a while before I decided enough was enough and I had my fun.

I needed a beer and went to the bar in the back to enjoy the show. It was a lot easier on my old body and the beer sure tasted good. Plus, being that La Zona Rosa isn't that big of a venue, I could still see Rancid well from the back. Being back there got me a different view of Rancid I had never seen, not even during those 90s Warped Tours I went to. I actually just got to "listen" to them live and was blown away. They had a cool background as they had a projector displaying different images behind them. They concluded with my favorite Rancid song of all time, "Ruby Soho". It was the song that made me a fan in high school and it still sounded amazing my third time hearing it live. It was the perfect way to end the night.

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John V said...

Sweet review. Like the blog dude.

Alex said...

Nice read. Really looking forward to seeing them again.

mood said...

nice review.