Thursday, August 14, 2008

Here are some things that happened at last night's Rancid show: They played one Op Ivy song: "Knowlege." They opened with "Radio" and then went straight into "Roots Radical," no pause; it ruled. At least a couple of people jumped off the ten-foot-high speaker-stacks into the crowd, but nobody seemed to get hurt. Somehow I got marked as the guy to talk to if you wanted to crowdsurf (I'm guessing it's because I'm tall), so I had to boost up like ten people, including this one skinhead guy in a Lamar Odom Clippers jersey who probably spent like half the damn show crowdsurfing. Matt Freeman played a total batshit lightspeed psychobilly bass-solo on "Maxwell Murder" that seemed to go on forever and pretty much obliterated everyone's brains. Tim Armstrong proved himself to be the one person alive who can wear a Matrix trenchcoat in 2008 and not look like a total herb; it was some sort of vato variation on it, but still. Their new drummer held it down even though he's the guy from the motherfucking lameass Used and I miss Bret Reed and I think it's pretty shitty that they got a mohawk guy for a drummer since I always liked the dynamic of Rancid being two mohawk guys and two non-mohawk guys. (Tim Armstrong's not a mohawk guy anymore, but he was, which is what matters.) During Sick of It All's opening set, they split the crowd down the middle and then had everyone run right at each other, which was crazy. Rancid played at least one song from every album, and I think they played for longer than I've ever seen them play. One guy ran up to me at one point and hugged me, and my eyes were all blurry with sweat so I couldn't tell if I knew him from Baltimore or something or if he was just some dude. I got all worried that my wedding ring would slip off my finger in the pit, but that didn't happen. I sweated through my T-shirt, for the first time in I couldn't even tell you how long. My brother took off his shirt, this bumblebee-striped polo thing he had to wear for work that day, and threw it, and then I kept seeing people throwing the shirt around like it was a beach ball at a Dave Matthews Band show.

That was the first of five Rancid shows at Irving Plaza. I briefly considered trying to go to all five, but then I realized that I am old. Good thing too; I am fucking dead today. It's an immensely, enormously gratifying thing to get to see your high-school heroes up close, still playing the fuck out of the songs that once kept you alive. (I think I might've sort of cried during "Who Would've Thought," can't totally remember.) But when that band is Rancid and people still mosh like they were fifteen even though they do not weigh what fifteen-year-olds weigh anymore, it takes it out of you.