Nostalgic. That’s the first word that comes to mind when thinking about my time spent at Starland Ballroom on August 16. The culprit — Alkaline Trio. After my years being filled with hearing my brother’s band at the time cover every Trio song known to man, I decided it was time to see Alkaline for the first time. Purchasing tickets on the first announced presale my anticipation grew for this show and man, they did not disappoint. Being their first run in a long while I did not know what to expect.
The lights dimmed, the band took the stage and a packed Starland Ballroom roared. Opening with their hit “We’ve Had Enough” you can tell their set was planned out with the perfect amount of old songs and new. Little did I know though, I was not ready for the ride Alkaline Trio set forth for us with a 22-song set that would include major sing-alongs such as “She Lied to the FBI”, “Mercy Me”, and songs of their upcoming album, Is This Thing Cursed?, due to be released August 31. Playing their new single “Blackbird”, the crowd’s reaction was tremendous. When performing a song you just released you never know how a crowd will react, but to my surprise the hardcore trio fans showed up and were already singing every word. Not seeing Alkaline Trio live before, selfishly, I wanted to hear some more older tunes from the early stages of the band, like “Armageddon”, but all in all their set was a great mix which kept many happy.
Another surprise in the show was the band’s on-stage banter. Knowing years ago they were putting on theatrical type shows with make-up and awesome stage set ups, you could tell that being in Blink-182 recently has rubbed off on Matt Skiba, and it only added to the entertainment of the show. With witty remarks to the crowd and each other on stage in between songs, it was hard not to chuckle at their minor antics on stage. The band even found itself participating in chanting a certain word with the crowd as an unruly concert goer was escorted out of the venue. Though their on-stage antics and banter now may be influenced by the new persona Skiba shares when in Blink, their new album has not lost the edge that Alkaline Trio is best known for.
All in all, Alkaline Trio is back and has not skipped a beat. Their live show is full of energy and I for one am very ecstatic about the upcoming release of Is This Thing Cursed?. Do not sleep on this record, do not sleep on this band and do not miss this show when it comes to your area.