Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Rancid @ The Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS

The world will never be doomed if Tim Armstrong is making music. Let it be written, let it be known. 

I have this dream that one day I will see Rancid in concert and they will play their album, " . . . And Out Come the Wolves" start to finish. This dream is incredibly selfish of me, they have other great albums with other great songs. That particular album, in all its punk rock with a side of ska glory, was released in 1995, and to this day it still remains to me an album that matters. 

 I remember the first time that I wanted to go to a punk rock show I (for real) wrote my parents an essay about why I should go. It was several pages.  I had to borrow the family car, and I was going alone, and they weren't sure about all this music and concert business, I mean they had heard stories. I wanted to plea my case.  I honestly wished I kept that essay, not only because it worked, but I would love to be reminded of how and why music mattered to me as a scrappy kid and how that relationship has evolved or stayed the same from then to now. I was thinking earlier today, what is it about the punk rock? Why do I love it, gravity towards it and in the case of bands like Rancid, why do I still cling on to bands and songs almost 20 years later? It all boils down to the same reasons why I love folk music, because folk music is punk rock and punk rock is folk music. Both genres are raw, unpretentious, simple yet revolutionary, speaking to the common man, telling his/her common stories, but also shaking them from societal mediocrity.  It's all about breaking and shattering the idea that your story will only matter when you are successful, when you become that "after" picture. No. The lesson that I have most gleamed from the punk rock community is that my story, and your story and everyone else's story is important, period. Every single chapter of the story is worth its own anthem and/or ballad, the bad ones, the good ones, the hit rock bottom ones, and of course, that one chapter when you finally decided to get back up and fight and work for your story to continue. Yeah, that chapter totally deserves a sing along chorus and guitar solo. 

So, seeing Tim Armstrong and the rest of the fellas from Rancid on Saturday night was pretty amazing,  the passion they have stage is ridiculously epic. I want that amount passion and pure ability and endurance to run around on a stage while singing and playing guitars all at the same time, in my life.  And standing there in that packed crowd, I was reminded of that scrappy idealist, hopeful, ready to take on the world, kid that I once was who wrote essays about punk rock. And maybe that kid who is  way older, and a little bit more battle scarred now, but still, as in right this very minute, is still writing those same words:  music matters. 

And, no, my dream of hearing ". . .And Out Come the Wolves" in its entirety wasn't realized, but they did play almost half the album, including "11th Hour" (Do you know where the power lies? It starts and ends with you!!)  which is my favorite from their entire catalog and in which hearing live I almost explode into bits and pieces of joy, not even caring if I ever get put back together.  But hey,  I'll take half a dream any day. 

Setlist for Rancid @The Granada Theater, Lawrence, KS, September 21, 2013

Roots Radical
Journey to the End of the Easy Bay
Maxwell Murder
11th Hour
Last  One to Die
Dead Bodies
Old Friend
I Wanna Riot
Black and Blue
F you
Listed Mia
The Worlds End
East Bay Night
It's Quite Alright
Fall Back Down
St. Mary
Olympia WA
Something In the World Today
Time bomb
Black Derby jacket
Ruby Soho

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