Having been on hiatus for nearly three years now – their last album Indestructible was released in 2003 – the members of Rancid have been busy with notable side projects of their own –Tim Armstrong played alongside Travis Barker in the rock-rap group the Transplants, Lars Frederiksen fronted his own solo project the Bastards and Matt Freeman stepped in with Social Distortion.
Finally together again, with an 11-date sold-out run in Los Angeles – Rancid proves to be at the top of its game – fast, furious and apparently re-energized. True to Rancid fashion, the shows are as jam-packed as its albums. With more than 150 songs to its roster, the band played nearly 30 songs in 75-minutes.
From mainstream staples “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho” to Operation Ivy's (the shortly lived Armstrong and Matt Freeman's ska-punk band) “Sound System,” Rancid's set list covered an eclectic mix of tunes, spawning all six albums. Though Armstrong and his gravely voice often take center stage, Frederiksen and Freeman equally had their time to shine. An encore, featuring acoustic versions of “Fall Back Down” and Billy Bragg's “To Have and Have Not” showed a softer, more vulnerable side to the band. Armstrong and Co. share an unmatched chemistry on stage that's been sorely missed, and though a new album is said to be slated for release sometime next year, Rancid fans will just have to wait on pins and needles to hear anything new from the band