Words & Photos by Alan Snodgrass
Summer has come to Sacramento and what better to way to spend a sunny Sunday afternoon than with punk rock and brews. Keeping with what has now become a familiar formula, Rancid has brought forth “The Bash” along with Pennywise, Suicidal Tendencies, L7 and Sharp/Shock. And beer.
Doors opened to the VIPs at noon for the beer tastings, which included Rancid’s very own Brewstomper Golden Ale being served up in the Ska Brewing tent. With the music not kicking off until 4 pm, the crowd arrived slowly with the good news being that the lines at the beer tents never reached an obnoxious level throughout the event. For those choosing to spring for the VIP package, the VIP tent offered the festival’s only respite from the punishing sun and alone justified the ticket price premium.
As the temperature pushed into the 90’s, the Hellcat Acoustic Stage provided a distraction from the heat and the beer with mini acoustic sets by Elvis Cortez, Kevin Seconds, Greg Antista (who performed Steve Soto’s “I’ll Be Around” along with Kevin Seconds), Kepi Ghoulie and Shiragirl. And while the organizers invited the audience to pick up the open mic, only one person took up the offer.
At 4 pm sharp the beer tents started to come down as Sharp/Shock hit the stage. Four hours of unlimited day drinking may have taken its toll on some fest goers (even with those tiny shot glass-sized beer mugs) but it also served to fuel some early pit action. Infectious as always, Sharp/Shock took the opportunity to win over some new fans.
Next up was L7 who are playing hot on the heels of “Scatter The Rats,” their first album in twenty years. Arguably having peaked in the mid-90’s, these women seem to be out to prove their relevance and, based on their cracking set, are well on the way to doing exactly that.
With a bunch of great bands on the line-up, Suicidal Tendencies was a clear standout. Already a super energetic band, the recent addition of Ben Weinman (of the Dillinger Escape Plan) has taken their live show to another level entirely. Spin kicks and an epic jump off a stack of speakers seems to have motivated the rest of the band to push their performances even harder and even had Mike Muir crowd surfing during “Institutionalized” (during which some jokester in the crowd kept trying to hand him a bottle of Pepsi). Hard to top.
Pennywise is always a crowd favorite yet predictable. You get the hits and the noodling on covers (presumably chosen off of band t-shirts in the crowd) before the set ends with a bunch of mostly dudes on stage for “Bro Hymn.” It works every time.
Rancid took the stage at 8:50 for their headlining set, seemingly taking advantage of The Bash to celebrate Father’s Day. Lars had his boys camped next to his guitar tech and Tim ‘s mom was set up by the monitor board clapping along and smiling throughout the set. (though she seemed to get scolded by Tim when she slipped into the photo pit to take some pictures of her boy in action.
Rancid consistently puts on a quality act and this night’s hour+ set was no different. From “Roots Radicals” to “Ruby Soho,” the band whipped the crowd into a froth … at least those that managed not to become candidates for “Passed Out Punks.”
Hellcat Records Acoustic Stage