Rancid/Tiger Army @ The Roseland Ballroom
New York City: November 16, 2003
Everyone's favorite crusty punk rockers (no not Good Charlotte) gelled up their spikes for their first show at The Roseland Ballroom in almost three years. Last time they played there the band brooded in the dark pounding away at some of the heavier numbers off their self-titled fifth release. This time it was all lights and glory with a stage show teeming with old favorites and smiles.
Tiger Army warmed the crowd up with a set consisting of odds and ends off of their last two records and a few new tunes that were warmly accepted by the New York audience. Full on rockers like Incorporeal, Fuck The World and Power Of Moonlight seemed to excite the kids a little more then their rock-a-billy tinged tunes, but everyone seemed to have a good time, especially when singer Nick 13 decided to bust out a Morrissey cover. As usual, the band's psychobilly sound was exceptionally powerful thanks to their upright bass, but Nick 13's guitar licks were often drowned out by the bass slaps and thumps that seemed to be coming out of every which way.
Rancid. the leaders of the new school punk scene jumped into their hits from the moment they strutted on stage. The band kicked into Ruby Soho and the audience turned into a wave of motion. Follow that up with perennial favorite Roots Radical and you've got a recipe for punk rock revival. Before going into the third number in a row off the group's smash third record "Out Come The Wolves," guitarist Lars Frederiksen introduced bassist Matt Freeman as "The greatest bass player in the fuckin' world." He wasn't lying. Freeman tore into the grooviest bass roll this side of Bootsy Collins, effortlessly fondling his instrument through the lengthy intro to Journey To The End.
Other songs dug further into the past, touching on "Let's Go" with Nihilism, Gunshots and Salvation. Their debut record was represented with only a sloppy rendition of Hyena, but all three guitars solos were performed to a tee on their latest single Fall Back Down. Singer Tim Armstrong whipped around violently,swinging his guitar any which way and hitting the strings randomly like his hero Joe Strummer.
Twice during the set, Lars took center stage with solo versions of At The Worlds End and a Billy Bragg cover off his "Bastards" record. After the break, Rancid pulled a few last big guns (MIA and Time Bomb) before calling it quits with Radio.