Four reasons to catch Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and more Downtown

Rancid just dropped ninth album Trouble Maker.
Ian Caramanzana

Rancid The two co-headliners on the bill are punk stalwarts that have essentially become synonymous with their cities over the years. Hailing from the infamous East Bay punk scene, Rancid—along with neighboring Green Day—is credited with helping bring punk to the mainstream. Songs like “Roots Radicals” and “Time Bomb” from the band’s third album, …And Out Come the Wolves, are catchy, melodic four-chord anthems that made punk’s gritty, anti-authoritarian message palatable to a wide audience. And they’re still at it: Rancid’s ninth album, Trouble Maker (released in June), marks a return to form, with the songwriting duo of Tim Armstrong and Lars Frederiksen taking on the political climate over brash instrumentation—a nod to the band’s original formula. Don’t pass on the chance to see bona fide punk legends.

Dropkick Murphys You’d be remiss to dive into Boston’s rich punk rock history without mentioning Dropkick Murphys. Taking cues from the city’s ripe Irish heritage, the sextet incorporates Celtic instrumentation and motifs to form a unique take on a genre. And while that might turn some off, the formula has been a hit: the Murphys have embarked on countless national and world tours across their 21-year career—giving thousands strong doses of banjo-twanging, bagpipe-blowing glory. Songs like the platinum-selling “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” and “The State of Massachusetts” are love letters to the band’s hometown, told through bagpipe arpeggios and distorted guitars. The band’s recently released ninth effort, 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, sees it expanding its sound—diving into singer-songwriter territory on songs like the Springsteen-esque “Until the Next Time” and “Kicked to the Curb.” The band has been around for two decades, so expect a career-spanning setlist.

The Selecter As one of the premier two-tone ska bands, The Selecter helped usher in a new sound that mixed Jamaican music’s beloved upbeats with punk rock’s fury and anti-authoritarian message. The band’s seminal debut, 1980’s Too Much Pressure, is an acclaimed, commercially successful album that exemplified the intensity of the subgenre with songs like the rambunctious title track and the speedy “Three Minute Hero.” What separated The Selecter from its contemporaries: the woman on vocals. Pauline Black’s gruff vocals and sporadic yelps introduced a new element to ska. Including The Selecter as support makes this a well-rounded punk lineup. Just bring your dancing shoes.

Kevin Seconds Kevin Seconds is a punk legend, full stop. He founded Reno’s highly influential punk band 7 Seconds (the first band to refer to itself as “hardcore” according to punk lore), and has also paraded on a fruitful solo career. Seconds’ folk-punk anthems have lent themselves to collaborations with punk A-listers like Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba and Gunmoll’s Mike Hale. As a solo artist, Seconds has released seven albums of catchy folk-punk perfect for sing-alongs. Take a listen to “Extra Something” and “1981” from his split with Skiba for prime examples of his infectious confections. In true punk fashion, Seconds has performed in support slots for greats like Bad Brains and Bouncing Souls.

Rancid & Dropkick Murphys with The Selector, Kevin Seconds. August 25, 7 p.m., $32. Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, 800-745-3000.

  • The singer-songwriter, who performs three shows at Encore Theater, hasn’t played a concert here since 2010.

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  • The band recently announced its first return gig—June 22 in Anaheim, California—and will bring three-fourths of the lineup that made its final album to the ...

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