Rancid @ Pop’s — 2008.06.28

Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28

From the opening bars of “Fall Back Down,” the pit is a seething, frothing mass of bodies, metal studs, and spiked hair. By the second song, crowd surfers are coming toward the stage faster as security can catch them, crashing in waves across the barricade at the front of the pit.

Packing Pop’s Night Club to the gills, punk legends Rancid played a ferocious, 30-song set that had the at-capacity crowd singing along and pumping their fists into the air, surging along with the music.

Tim Armstrong, wearing a pork pie hat and a leather jacket, was all grins on stage, swinging his big-bodied Gretsch around and wheeling like a man possessed.

Together with Lars Frederiksen, Armstrong led the band’s double-barreled attack, alternating vocals and guitar parts with his longtime bandmate.

After two years since their last US tour, the group obviously seemed to relish their time under the stage lights.

Full set list after the images.

Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's – 2008.06.28 Rancid @ Pop's -- 2008.06.28

Photographer’s Notes:

Naturally, being a punk show, the shooting time for this gig seemed to go by in a flash, though I think it stretched out a little more than the seven-minute run that the Dropkick Murphys delivered for their first three songs.

Tim Armstrong was the moving target of the group, with seemingly boundless energy that took him from the front of the stage to the back in the same beat.

Two cases at the front of the stage provided the perfect DIY risers for Armstrong, and the frontman never missed a chance to go up on them for a little guitar action.


The lighting for this gig was as simple as it could be: warm incandescent lights provided an uneven wash over the stage, with most of the light falling on Armstrong and falling off toward the side of the stage.

Exposure & Metering:

I shot this set at 1/200, ISO 6400, and f/2.8, with only slight variations to shutter speed, mostly within a 1/3-stop.

Lenses & Gear:

I shot this set with the Nikon D3, Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. Overall the wider focal lengths saw a lot of use due to the relatively low stage.

End Notes:

A big thanks to the folks at Pop’s for being super nice, and also to the fine folks at Epitaph for setting everything up.

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There are 19 comments

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  1. jason

    they’re playing 5 nights in NYC with some awesome openers so i’m hoping to shoot them at least once (although the lighting at irving plaza blows). got any crowd shots?

  2. Todd

    Hey Jason,

    Yeah, I saw they were doing a little residency at the Fillmore, so hopefully the multiple dates should make it a little easier with passes.

    I got one shot of the crowd just as Rancid can on stage, so I’ll upload that for you.

  3. Todd

    Hey Keith! Thanks for the picks, you chose two of my favorite shots of Tim Armstrong. His beat up Gretsch had some great character for sure, I’m sure it’s seen a lot of shows.

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. Shannon

    Hey man your pics are fantastic. My husband and I were sitting next to Sandy and saw you before the show started. The band and the crowd had so much energy. That was one concert I will never forget.
    Again, great job!

  5. Bryan

    Nice shots. Did you get cracked in the head with Tim Armstrong’s guitar like almost always happens to me? haha. I’ll be shooting their opening night in NYC, hopefully I’ll get some nice shots of the band as well.

  6. Todd

    Hey Bryan, I just barely missed Armstrong’s guitar, I think. I did have the thought of the head cracking against the huge front element of the 14-24mm, though. Good luck with the NYC shoot!

  7. david jenrette

    As usual, great photos. Is it typical of this type of musician to look like he is not enjoying himself? I’m just curious, not critical.

  8. Todd

    Hey David, thanks very much. Maybe it doesn’t show in these shots, but I thought these guys looked like they were having a blast. Maybe not in the “toothy grin” way, but the band certainly seemed like they were enjoying themselves.

  9. Dustin

    Hey Todd great stuff as always. As soon as the first song started I knew that you would be having your work cut out for you with the crowd surfers and everything else coming from the crowd. I so wish I would have been able to shoot this show.

    The lighting was so much better for this show than it was when I shot Social Distortion there. They used a lot of harsh red lights and nothing else for the first song and red was the dominate color used for the 2nd and 3rd plus the fact that not much light was used till around the 5th or 6th songs.

    Guess I’ll be seeing you tomorrow at Warped Tour. What bands you plan on shooting?

  10. Todd

    Hey Dustin, nice to see you at the show. Sorry I couldn’t chat for longer!

    The crowd surfers were pretty insane. After the first three, I was watching the show from the second floor and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for all the security. They had their hands full, literally.

    I’ll definitely be shooting Paramore, Against Me!, Angels and Airwaves, Katy Perry, and The Academy Is…, plus whoever I can catch the rest of the day. I’ll also be doing some backstage snaps of various bands, trying to tag team with my writer.

    Shoot me your cell number so we can meet up tomorrow.

  11. Dustin

    Yeah the crowd was crazy. I was standing back by the sound board and I was still being hit. This was probably the 3rd craziest I have seen a crowd. 1st Sex Pistols in Chicago – the whole place was one huge mosh pit and 2nd would be the last Urge show (not the reunion one that they did a few years latter). I don’t even think the two night stand that Rancid did at Mississippi Nights two years ago was that bad.

    I will defiantly run into you at Paramore and Katy Perry and maybe at Angels and Airwaves, unless I have problems with overlapping bands as I did last year. Other bands I am going to try and shoot are Cobra Starship, The Color Fred, Gym Class Heroes, Horrorpops, Jet Lag Gemini, MC Chris, Midnight To Twelve, The Pink Spiders, The Pinker Tones, Reel Big Fish, Story of the Year, and Street Dogs. The ones that I am 100% on are Paramore, Katy Perry, Reel Big Fish, and Gym Class Heroes.

    Also just sent my cell # in an email to you.

  12. Kieran

    One of my fave bands and they defiantly always put on a great show. got to get tickets for the next uk tour in November What a set list to, I have never seen them play Tattoo or I wanna riot. Must be to do with the newish b sides album.

    Anyway great shots 7,10 and 11 are my faves because to me they sum up Tims energy on stage. At least for me having being plucky enough to see them a few times.

  13. Todd

    Hey Kieran, hope you get those tickets. This show had an incredible energy, the crowd simply went crazy for Rancid.

    Thanks for your picks, too. Tim and Lars really put on a great show!

  14. dee

    i have a question. I have a photo blog and have been trying to figure out how to have the thumbnail gallery (like you have above). How exactly did you create this. Any help would be appreciated


  15. Nick

    Hey Todd,

    The pictures are amazing! I was one of the friends Gino and Sandy brought to the show and i wont ever forget this show….simply the best night of my life

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