PHOTOS: Rancid, Dropkick Murphys bridge Boston and Berkeley at the Greek

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Photos: Alessio Neri

BERKELEY — The Rancid and Dropkick Murphys “From Boston to Berkeley Tour” is nearing the finish line —but not quite there yet, because the tour actually started in Maine and is concluding in Los Angeles. The Greek Theatre show Sunday, however, was the two bands’ only Bay Area stop.

Both Rancid—founded in Berkeley—and the Dropkick Murphys—the New England band—have new albums out: Trouble Maker and 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory. The tour is also a manifestation of the merging of West Coast and Celtic punk.

Dropkick Murphys lead singer Al Barr must have spent more time singing in front of people’s faces than onstage. Barr was constantly in the crowd, interacting with the moshing fans. The band ended its performance with “Until The Next Time” and with at least 50 people onstage, basically reenacting the song’s music video.

“It’s good to be home” Rancid’s Tim Armstrong said. The local band’s 75-minute performance played more like a best-of set, with all the hits like “Old Friend,” “Salvation,” “Time Bomb,” “Fall Back Down” and “Ruby Soho,” just to name a few.

“Don’t you wish some shows never end? Well, this is one of them,” Lars Frederiksen said to his bandmates.

Frederiksen didn’t miss an opportunity to address the country’s political unrest. As a preamble to the new song “Telegraph Avenue,” named for the locale for many-a-protest, he talked about the importance of protest: “If we didn’t have freedom of speech, we never would have had punk rock. Once you start telling people what to say and what to think, that’s called fascism. We do not tolerate racism, sexism or any of that bullshit.”

After a brief encore break, the band returned,  but not alone. Dropkick Murphys joined to play covers of The Ramones’ “Cretin Hop,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues,” Sham 69’s “If The Kids Are United” and The Clash’s “White Riot.”

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