Show Review: Rancid and Street Dogs at Punk Rock Bowling 2012, Las Vegas 5/27/12

words by Jackson Ellis | photos by Shahab Zargari | Thursday, May 31st, 2012

After about 30 minutes into their set, I was plenty satisfied with the Street Dogs‘ afternoon performance at the 2012 Punk Rock Bowling Music Festival in Downtown Las Vegas. Seeing the band perform for the first time since the winter of 2003-2004 in Boston, I enjoyed hearing them perform a mix of mostly newer tracks, even if I was quietly hoping to hear a few old favorites off of their debut album. However, Mike McColgan and his crew had a surprise up their sleeves, taking it back even further than 2003’s Savin Hill. The band performed a trio of tracks from the Dropkick Murphys‘ debut album, Do or Die — the lone Dropkick album on which McColgan (a founding member) provided lead vocals. Belting out “Do or Die,” “Get Up,” and “Never Alone” and leaping into the crowd, McColgan sounded exactly as he did 15 years earlier, giving the festival crowd a little taste of what it must have been like at The Rat in Boston’s Kenmore Square 15 years ago. (Live video of the performance below!)

Rancid was the final band to play the main stage on Sunday night, and they continued the weekend-long trend of turning back the clock. Celebrating their 20th year, the band played an epic “greatest hits” set that stuck almost exclusively to their best-known and best-loved songs from the ’90s — and considering that the average age of the Punk Rock Bowling attendees safely hovered around 30, it proved to be a crowd-pleasing decision. Both the fans and Rancid front man Tim Armstrong seemed to revel in nostalgia — between songs, Armstrong told a handful of stories about touring with both Rancid and Operation Ivy (apparently having first played Las Vegas  in the ’80s with Op Ivy in the middle of the desert, just outside of town), and the crowd sang along to every word of the set, belting out the lyrics they listened to over and over in their youths.

For all the excellent bands who performed in the city over the course of four days, Rancid were the main attraction, and they knew it. Playing to the largest, loudest crowd of the weekend, the band played well over their scheduled hour — a whopping 27 songs in total — and even returned to the stage for an encore. The late night club shows scattered across Downtown Las Vegas were well underway by the time the band finished off the night with “Ruby Soho,” yet there wasn’t a person who budged until the final note had rung out, and the stage crew began their final tear-down of the evening.

Rancid’s Punk Rock Bowling 2012 Set List:
01. Radio
02. Roots Radicals
03. The Way I Feel
04. Journey to the End of the East Bay
05. Dead Bodies
06. Last One to Die
07. East Bay Night
08. Maxwell Murder
09. The 11th Hour
10. Adina
11. I Wanna Riot
12. Red Hot Moon
13. Old Friend
14. Nihilism
15. Rejected
16. St. Mary
17. Salvation
18. Bloodclot
19. Listed MIA
20. Olympia
21. It’s Quite Alright
22. The Wars End
23. Something in the World Today
24. Fall Back Down

25. Time Bomb
26. Tenderloin
27. Ruby Soho

Street Dogs perform “Get Up” and “Never Alone” at Punk Rock Bowling, 5/27/12

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