Back in 1995, Warped Tour seemed like a can't-lose way to see scores of punk bands for an absurdly low ticket price. But as Warped became an annual institution, groups such as Rancid
co-headlined alternating festivals and didn't tour much in the interim, leaving fans to subsist on biannual 30-minute sets. This summer, Rancid compensates for Warped's paltry rations by opening their vaults to include never-played-live cuts, classics from singer Tim Armstrong/bassist Matt Freeman's seminal ska-core outfit, Operation Ivy, and (less laudably) gruff anthems from guitarist Lars Frederiksen's solo side-project. Rancid stakes its "closest thing to the Clash" credibility on its eclecticism and without time constraints, the group incorporates reggae, folk, hardcore and Chuck Berry-era rock, lyrically stretching from poignant romantic numbers to reflections on Rwanda, Somalia and the Ivory Coast.