Rise Against, Rancid play the Forum. Questions ranted.
The Los Angeles Times' blog czar Tony Pierce went to see Rancid and Rise Against on Saturday night at the Forum in Inglewood. He came home with more questions than answers, but he also had a wisdom tooth pulled in the afternoon, so take what he says with a grain of salt. We allowed him space to rant below. We're not quite sure if we were allowed to say no.
1. Why was Rancid opening for Rise Against? Sure, the Chicago quartet Rise Against is good, and put on a highly energetic, hard rockin' show. But hasn't Rancid already paid its dues? Isn't "...And Out Come the Wolves" something that will live on as one of the more perfect albums of the '90s? As good as Rise Against is -- especially live -- have they ever released anything comparable to any Rancid album?
2. Why is a punk rock show being held at the Forum in Inglewood? While it's true that the venue used to host great heavy metal shows, classic rock events and even its fair share of pop gigs, has there really been a truly successful punk show there since the Butthole Surfers opened for Nirvana in 1993? Therefore, if an arena is what this event called for, wouldn't the Sports Arena near USC have been a better choice? Hey, it might have even sold out.There were whole rows of seats empty at the Forum, as reflected in the above picture.
3. Why did Rancid have to go on at 8 p.m. and end at 8:45 p.m.? What was the rush? It was a Saturday night; were they afraid that punk fans would get "rowdier" than say the crowd at the recent AC/DC show at the Forum, and thus necessitate the early start and end times?
4. Why was the volume set at such a low setting? Aren't your ears supposed to buzz the next day after seeing a rock show at an arena? Should you have to strain to hear the guitars? Shouldn't you feel the bass at a live show? Very little seemed "punk rock" about the evening, other than the healthy mosh pits and decidedly low-fi stage production. The passion in the music was definitely there, as was the desire from the crowd to be part of a real punk show. Next time, crank it up!
-- Post and photo: Tony Pierce