TVD Live Shots: Dropkick Murphys, Rancid, The Selecter, Kevin Seconds at the Greek Theatre, 8/20

Rancid and Dropkick Murphys are on the road together with their “From Boston to Berkeley Tour” which ironically neither started in Boston nor will end in Berkeley. But that’s neither here nor there, because Sunday night at Berkeley’s Greek Theatre made for a truly epic evening of music.

With school just starting at the University, the frat bros where partying hard a mere few blocks from where Kevin Seconds (of 7 Seconds fame) kicked things off to the gathering crowd with an acoustic set. In spite of decades in punk rock, Kevin still has an amazing voice that soared over the chattering crowd. It takes balls to stand up in front of a few thousand people with only a mic and a guitar and Kevin absolutely nailed it, ending the short and sweet set with a sing-along of 7 Seconds’ “Leave a Light On.”

Next up, 2-Tone ska veterans The Selecter who stepped on the tour mid-way through. With a black curtain draped across most of the stage, the band made maximum use of what was left for them at the edge of the stage, their energy infectious. And while it was only 6PM, the general admission pit was packed and folks seemed to have had enough time to get their drink on because they were clearly ready to dance. As a special surprise, Lynval Golding from The Specials joined them on stage to close out the set.

Several weeks into the tour and things were clearly running like a finely oiled machine. The sun hadn’t even set by the time Dropkick Murphys took the stage with a flourish … the music kicking in before the giant black curtain was dropped, revealing the entire band positioned atop a riser. Frontman Al Barr was instantly off the riser and prowling the edges of the stage before hopping down to a small platform which had been set up just inside the barricade.

With green shirts and hair, the DKM fans were easy to spot in the churning crowd up front where security finally had to stop letting people in. Bassist Ken Casey kept the venue engaged between songs, recounting stories of their early days in the Bay Area with bands like Rancid and the Swingin’ Utters. Sadly things had to come to an end and the Dropkick Murphys wrapped their hour-long set by inviting the fans onstage for (appropriately) “Until Next Time.” Hopefully that will be soon because these guys don’t come around very often.

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Sure, the San Francisco Bay Area gets more than its fair share of Rancid shows but it’s been a very, very long time since Rancid played the town where it all started for them back in 1992. What’s it been? 10 years or more? It took the “From Boston to Berkeley Tour” to make it happen and it was clear that the fans weren’t going let this slip by and neither was the band, guitarist Lars Frederiksen (with a mob of guests behind him) quipped early on, “this is the kind of show you never want to end.” While it would eventually have to end, that would not be before and frenzied set that hit the crowd personally with songs like “Journey to the End of the East Bay,” “Easy Bay Night,” and “Telegraph Avenue.”

Band and fans seemed to enjoy the set equally as Rancid tore through an hour of the hits sprinkled with a few new tunes from their latest release Trouble Maker, before Armstrong laid down his guitar, picked up his hat off his amp, and walked off stage. It was only 9:30PM and the crowd was nowhere near done. So when Tim strolled back on stage with an acoustic guitar, he was met with cheers but not surprise. What may have surprised the crowd, though, was what came next … a series of covers including The Ramones “Cretin Hop” and Sham 69’s “If the Kids Are United” featuring members of the night’s other bands. What a way to end an epic evening of music.

RANCID

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

Rancid

DROPKICK MURPHYS

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

Dropkick Murphys

THE SELECTER

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

The Selecter

KEVIN SECONDS

Kevin Seconds

Kevin Seconds

Kevin Seconds

Kevin Seconds

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