There are artists that every time you see them is a bundle deal, always with one of their bands. That while some artists splinter off or do the solo thing as a side project, a lot just love doing it most with the family they call a band. Lars Frederiksen is one of those artists I’ve always seen in a band setting, whether it be with Rancid, Old Firm Casuals, or Oxley’s Midnight Runners. However, this year he has put together a tour going solo with a couple friends. This one he brought Cris, of Powerhouse, who setup the tunes we heard through the house P.A. the first hour and Joe Sib bringing the laughs.
After the first hour of tunes curated by Cris, he came out to introduce our comedic act of the night, Joe Sib. You might be saying to yourself, that name sounds familiar but not for comedy. That would be because over the years he has played in the bands Wax and 22 Jacks. Additionally, it could be that you know Joe as the cofounder of SideOneDummy Records. The latter he graciously thanked the audience for supporting the label over the years.
The comedy came with telling anecdotes around Joe’s time going out to punk and a few stories of things like assisted living. He told us the story, littered with jokes through, of the first time he saw Lars Frederiksen was when he jumped up to sing with GBH. There was another tale of Joe’s time opening for a Metallica tour with his comedy that brought out a solid impersonation of Lars Ulrich. He lobbed a couple jokes my way as he touched on the past two years and I, the solo person in a mask, asking what facial features could be hidden underneath that it covers. It was all in good fun. The thirty-minute set found me laughing throughout. This marks my first time catching Joe Sib’s comedy in person and left me wanting to see him again.
Next and headlining, Lars Frederiksen came out to play an hour-long assortment of songs. While many artists bring the acoustic, Lars did this solo set with an alternating of two electric guitars. He hit on songs across the breadth of his career that spanned Rancid to the Bastards to Old Firm Casuals. Introducing the song “Motherland” he thanked the time off, caused by Covid, for allowing him to spend the final six months of his mom’s life with her. He would dedicate it to her while looking like talking about it brought out watery eyes and emotions.
Lars talked about how when they threw the Oi’s into songs years ago it was about including everyone and fun. He emphasized that no one should be excluded for what they identify as, their gender, who they love, and especially the color of their skin. These are sentiments expressed in the full Rancid performances too. His main set would close on a pair of Old Firm Casuals songs. Then he would return to the stage and finish on the Billy Bragg cover he did with The Bastards, “To Have And To Have Not.” A song Lars boasted wasn’t his, but they sure as hell have made it bigger. The night was a wonderfully intimate time at Pub Rock Live watching one of the best in punk rock, Lars Frederiksen.