Words & Photos by Alan Snodgrass

There’s nothing quite like a good cause as an excuse to get the music community together for a good time. This past week it was Rancid’s turn to step up, hosting a sold out benefit for Ohlhoff Recovery Programs at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom.

Staying true to their hometown roots, Rancid tapped local acts Deseos Primitivos and Public Safety to kick things with original San Jose skate punks The Faction picking up the direct support slot.  Being a Thursday night it took a bit for the crowd to gather but by the time The Faction took the stage, the house was packed to see Lars Frederiksen wander on stage and plop down in front of the bass drum during “Let’s Go Get Cokes,” replicating a moment from his pre-teens.

With the crowd sufficiently worked up and frothy, Rancid took the stage early and busted right into “Radio” as the house went flat-out nuts.  Sometimes these benefit shows can fill with disinterested donors, happy to plop down some bucks for a good cause but that was definitely not the case at this show; the entire venue was on its feet front to back and top to bottom singing along so the favorites.

The hour and ten minute-ish set may not have been long enough for everyone’s taste but damn it was a good time.  The setlist featured a healthy dose of “… And Out Come the Wolves” punctuated by classics and new tunes from the band’s 25+ year catalog and ended up where it all began for this band with “Time Bomb” and “Ruby Soho.”

There’s truly nothing quite like a hometown for Rancid. The band and the crowd feed off each other in a way that few acts can muster.  Pack all of that into a venue that’s half the size of what the band is used to and you’re guaranteed a hot and sweaty good time.  Thank you Rancid.

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