Classic Rancid still feels fresh

"Good morning heartache, you’re like an old friend. Come and see me again." – "Old Friend," Rancid

After 15 years as a band, "old friend" Rancid returned Sunday, playing a 25-song set to a capacity crowd at Warehouse Live.

Rancid wasted no time opening the show with its hit-single "Fall Back Down" from 2003’s Indestructible. Guitarist and co-vocalist Tim Armstrong showed youthful exuberance, while Lars Frederiksen (guitar and vocals) was equally energetic during "Roots and Radicals." Rare track "Tattoo" of B-sides and C-sides proceeded, making it one of the few obscure songs played that night.

The set list was a heavy selection of fan favorites and songs from the seminal album…And Out Come the Wolves. "Maxwell Murder" featured an extended version of the amazing bass solo by bassist Matt Freeman. Freeman continued the bass line hitting almost every fret imaginable as Frederiksen proclaimed him "the best bass player in the world."

Armstrong and Freeman were once in the influential ska act Operation Ivy, which they acknowledged with a cover of "Knowledge." The newest addition to the band, Branden Steineckert, formerly of The Used and a long-time Rancid fan, capably manned the drum kit.

Rancid helped usher in the punk explosion of the 1990s, garnering mainstream attention with…And Out Come the Wolves. While The Offspring and Green Day were huge alternative radio hits, Rancid and other Epitaph bands took a more low-key route but still managed to spread their influence and sell millions of records.

Frederiksen announced a new album will be released in September, produced by Epitaph Records president and Bad Religion guitarist, Brett Gurewitz. No new songs were played for the crowd, which was disappointing.

Toward the end of its set, Rancid blazed through "Salvation," "I wanna riot," and "At the war’s end," before ending the set with the crowd-rocking "Radio".

Rancid returned to the stage for an encore consisting of only two songs: the ska-heavy rocker "Time Bomb" and its biggest hit "Ruby Soho" closed the show.

Local acts Deathbed Repentance and Austin’s Complete Control were worthy opening acts for Rancid. B-sides and C-sides is out now on Hellcat Records.

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