Tag Archives: Alkaline Trio

Concert Review: Alkaline Trio / Cursive – House of Blues – Cleveland, OH – 03/04/2010

Pop punk rockers Alkaline Trio paid the House of Blues in Cleveland a visit on Thursday with special guests indie rockers Cursive as well as rock act The Dear & Departed.  This was the second stop for Alkaline Trio who just started touring in support of their new release This Addiction.  The line-up of the evening was an interesting mix but still it looked to be a great evening of music for all who filled up the venue.

Most commonly known as the guy who tattoos along side Kat Von D on the reality show LA Ink, Dan Under and his band did their best to warm up the crowd with their straight forward rock music.  The crowd gave them the respect they deserved but it really did not look as if too many were really getting into them.  A couple fans sang along and gave support but the energy level was still rather low.

Nebraska’s Cursive on the other hand played a solid, yet interesting, set  that eventually caused a lot of cheer by the set’s end.  Hammering through “Some Red Handed Sleight Of Hand” as later playing “Art Is Hard” the band threw on an absolutely amazing show.  I especially enjoyed hearing “From The Hips” off their latest release Mama, I’m Swollen.  Digging deep into their catalog the band even played “Mothership Mothership, Do You Read Me?” which absolutely floored me.  It was clear though that not everyone around me was enjoying the indie, almost experimental, performance with a very vocal Tim Kasher but I will admit that there are some folk out there today looking into who exactly this Cursive band is.

Alkaline Trio took the stage in full force and started the night off with “This Addiction” off their latest release.  The band looked so comfortable on stage and Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano shuffled about on stage as Derek Grant beat the hell out of the drums.  Skiba announced in the middle of songs that he was at a photo shoot earlier in the day for some magazine called High Times admitting that “if it seems like I’m really stoned, it’s because I am.”   Needless to say the crowd went berserk.

Adding to the energy of the night the band carried onward with an amazing set playing old and new songs.  Seeing Andriano pick up the horn on “Lead Poisoning” was one of the highlights of my night for some reason.  I really enjoyed that track off their new album but seeing it live just made me appreciate it even more.  If that was not good enough, once the band finished that more poppy track they jumped back a few years and played “Mr. Chainsaw” only to return to new material again with “Dead On The Floor”.

Throughout the night I was continually impressed to see what song the band would play next.  Hearing “Fuck You Aurora” and later the Manson inspired “Sadie” the set list just kept getting better and better and the band just hit every song head-on with almost everyone in the house singing along.  Just when I thought think things could not get better the band played “’97”.  At that very moment I was completely contempt with Alkaline Trio’s set.

The band exited the stage with fans pleading for one more song.  I decided this might be a good time to make way to the back of the venue and to call it a night.  As I was walking back the crowd exploded in cheer as the band did a little switch up with Skiba on drums, Andriano on guitar, and Grant on bass and vocals.  The band appeased me by playing one of my favorite Misfits songs ever, “Attitude”.  All I could say was “are you kidding me” and stopped dead in my tracks and started singing along with everyone else.  It was the perfect way to end an amazing performance.  I was a happy concert goer.

Alkaline Trio’s Set List
This Addiction
Dine, Dine My Darling
We’ve Had Enough
Lead Poisoning
Mr. Chainsaw
Dead On The Floor
Fatally Yours
Fuck You Aurora
Goodbye Forever
In Vein
100 Stories
Nose Over Tail


Alkaline Trio – This Addiction – CD Review

Punk rock threesome Alkaline Trio (AK3) recently released their seventh studio album entitled This Addiction on their newly established independent record label properly called Heart & Skull. The label actually is a joint-venture with help from legendary punk record label Epitaph Records. AK3 stated that they took a step back into their punk roots this time while recording This Addiction and have also taken a lot of their personal ventures and incorporated them into this more DIY sounding solid release.

Starting off the album is the title track “This Addiction”, a pop-punk heavy track talking about love being more like an easily addictive drug such as heroin. The track is super catchy and keeps with the AK3 style that they have held over the years.  Following was “Dine, Dine My Darling” a track clearly titled in favor of The Misfits.

Moving along with clearly  somber theme was “Lead Poisoning” that featured an almost NOFX horn style solo that made the song stick out over others.  “Dead On The Floor” was a dreary track speaking of high hoped love falling apart.  Having been in the situation before of a blinded happiness I really took this song in and at the end was actually a little bummed out. Continuing the darker mood was “The American Scream”, a story about sadness and suicide with likable music throughout the track but just chilling to absorb.

Changing things up a tad was “Eating Me Alive” a more upbeat track with interesting synthesizer playing.  “Fine” may have been a slower jam on the album but with lyrics like “it’s ironic that I drink to make my insides stop hurting” it was clear how personable the song about shrugging off the pain was.  “Those Lungs” was a little heavier at the beginning but mellowed out into a tender track guaranteed to make a special someone swoon.

At just over forty minutes the album is enjoyable throughout but one would always appreciate more AK3 right?  Luckily for fans who want more such as myself, the band also released a deluxe edition featuring acoustic tracks of “This Addiction”, “Dine, Dine My Darling”, “Dead On The Floor”, and an awesome version of  “Fine” which to me sounds better than the original.  A DVD is also included in the deluxe version showcasing a live performance of AK3 at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.

If you are a fan of AK3 and were not feeling with their last release Agony & Irony you might be surprised what the guys have to offer this time around.  This Addiction is a worthy AK3 release and can easily be played over and over.  With that said I might as well add that the album debuted at #11 on the Billboard Top 200 so obviously I am not the only one who has been digging This Addiction.

AK3 just embarked on a US tour with indie rockers Cursive as well as The Dear & Departed.  Be sure to check them out when they hit a town near you.  I’ll be there tonight in Cleveland and you can say that I am a little excited about being there!

Alkaline Trio Tour Dates:
03/03/10 – Columbus, OH – Newport Music Hall
03/04/10 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
03/05/10 – Pittsburgh, PA – Club Zoo
03/06/10 – Toronto, CAN – The Phoenix Concert Theater
03/08/10 – Clifton Park, NY – Northern Lights
03/09/10 – Hartford, CT – The Webster Theater
03/11/10 – Philadelphia, PA – Trocadero SOLD OUT
03/12/10 – New York, NY – Nokia Theatre Times Square SOLD OUT
03/13/10 – Sayreville, NJ – Starland Ballroom
03/14/10 – Providence, RI – Lupos Heartbreak Hotel
03/16/10 – Towson, MD – Rocher Theatre
03/17/10 – Charlotte, NC – Amos’ Southend
03/18/10 – Charleston, SC – Music Farm
03/19/10 – Atlanta, GA – Masquerade
03/20/10 – Jacksonville Beach, FL – Freebird Live
03/22/10 – Orlando, FL – House of Blues
03/23/10 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Revolution
03/25/20 – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
03/26/10 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live
03/27/10 – Dallas, TX – The Palladium Ballroom
03/28/10 – Austin, TX – Emo’s
03/30/10 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee Theater
04/01/10 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues
04/02/10 – West Hollywood, CA – House of Blues
04/03/10 – Las Vegas, NV – House of Blues

Clothing giants Hurley just released some special edition AK3 apparel.  Check it out by clicking HERE.

Here are some of my favorite AK3 music videos:

Alkaline Trio To Drop This Addiction On Feb.23rd

Hey Alkaline Trio (AK3) fans!  In just one week This Addiction will drop on store shelves for you all to love and cherish.  This will be the bands first release on their very own independent label properly called Heart & Skull with a little help from Epitaph Records.

This will be the band’s seventh studio release and will be available in a regular format as well as a limited deluxe CD/DVD edition and even will drop on LP.  AK3 is currently on tour in support of the release and will be hitting House Of Blues Cleveland on March 4th with very special guests Cursive.

Look for a review by yours truly in the next couple days or so.  I can tell you it is pretty awesome.  Until then check out the band’s title track music video that just was released on the internet (and is very Braveheart inspired):

Alkaline Trio News (New Label / New Album Coming Soon!)

I am really excited to hear new material by these punk favs of mine…

Thanks to the fine folk at Epitaph Records for this:

Alkaline Trio has announced the birth of Heart & Skull, the band’s own label formed in partnership with Epitaph Records. The band will release its seventh album through Epitaph/Heart & Skull in early 2010.

Commenting on the formation of the new imprint, named for the band’s longstanding logo, Alkaline Trio singer/guitarist Matt Skiba said:

“We made the decision to form Heart & Skull to put out our own records after having been through every kind of label deal in the industry, big indies, small indies, majors. We knew it was time to adapt to the shifting tides of the music industry and we could not be more thrilled about doing that in conjunction with the team at Epitaph. Taking control of our own label situation was something we always wanted to do but never thought was possible, but now thanks to Brett Gurewitz and the fine folks at Epitaph, it is. All three of us in Alkaline Trio have always had the utmost respect for the music and the work ethic of the Epitaph, Anti- and Hellcat family and now we’re honored to be working together under one big happy roof. Heart & Skull/Epitaph is truly a dream come true for us.”

Alkaline Trio bassist/vocalist Dan Andriano added:

“For our band at this time it really makes sense to release our own records, but we wanted to make sure we could partner up with good people who we would want to share in something very special to us. When Brett called and said he wanted to be involved, that was it. Epitaph is a label I’ve admired and supported for more than half of my life! I couldn’t be more excited for how this is turning out!”

Alkaline Trio first emerged from Chicago in 1996 and has since released the full length studio albums Goddamnit, Maybe I’ll Catch Fire, From Here To Infirmary, Good Mourning, Crimson and last year’s Agony & Irony, which was the highest charting record of the band’s career to date. The band is comprised of Skiba, Andriano and drummer Derek Grant, all of whom are partners in Heart & Skull.

Here are some videos for your punk rock entertainment consideration…

Blog On: Invasion of the Yuppie Punx featuring Pete “The Electric Grandmother” Faust

Two of my favorite people in life had the chance to hit up this years Riot Fest Chicago in, you guessed it, Chicago.  Pete and Mary Alice were gracious enough to share their experience with me and all you crazy readers out there.

Riot Fest, for those of you who may not know, is basically a 5 day punk rock Lollapalooza.  Instead of me listing all of the bands here, I felt it best for a busy guy like myself to post the concert poster of it:

Pete, aka The Electric Grandmother, has been a good friend of mine since the days when I was young.  We have always shared a true love for punk rock and even if he keeps telling me over and over that punk is dead, I know he is not speaking of the punk that binds our friendship so strongly.

Please enjoy Pete and Mary Alice’s hilarious and heartfelt story/review about the time they left Ohio to see some classic punk rockers play out in Chi-Town.

Thanks guys for the share!  I turn it over to Pete now:

It’s Friday morning, and we’re about to get breakfast at Wendy’s in the Columbus airport.  Two young ladies are waiting in line with us, one with green hair and one with pink hair, both decked from top to bottom with authentic punk rock garb.  “You guys going to Riot Fest?” I asked them.  “Yeah, which night are you going?” the green-haired girl responded.  “Um,” I swallowed.  “All three nights.”  After breakfast, as I walked with our laptop slung over my shoulder, hand in hand with my beautiful well-dressed wife, I realized that we had officially become yuppie-punks.

Who’d of thought?  Not me, but then again I never picture myself in the future, I just do a lot of planning ahead. It wasn’t careful planning, but an uncharacteristic spur of the moment idea by my wife and I to go see our beloved Screeching Weasel in Chicago at the 2009 Riot Fest.  Those who know my wife Mary Alice know that she only travels in style, and since I’m lucky enough to be attached to her, I travel in style by proxy.  Here’s me getting punk rock in our hotel room:

And here’s my wife showing everyone how a hotel robe should be worn:

After an exciting trip to the newly renamed Willis Tower, we ventured downtown to the Congress Theater for the first of three Riot Fest nights.  The doors opened at the venue at 5:30 PM, and we left our hotel room at 7:45, as we were only interested in seeing the Dead Milkmen, the fourth of five bands scheduled to perform that night (told ya we were yuppies).  Being that we hail from Columbus, the land of late-starting shows, we figured we’d be there in plenty of time – not so.  When we arrived at the Congress, the Milks were already 10 minutes into their set.  We were a bit disappointed, but not crushed since we’re hardly Dead Milkmen aficionados.  We found out later that we had missed them performing “Punk Rock Girl,” but did manage to catch “Bitchin’ Camaro,” as well as a few other well known singles that poseurs like us enjoy.  The staff at the venue seemed really cool, and the crowd in attendance made us not feel too old to be there.  There were lots of people there in their 30s and 40s, interspersed with the kids that were born after the Dead Milkmen were formed.  We left before the Murder City Devils came on, because we’re old and don’t like to watch bands that we know nothing about.  All in all, we were at the venue for maybe 45 minutes.  Such poseurs.  We went back to our fancy hotel and drank until bedtime.

The girls who we met at the airport said they were going only to see Cock Sparrer, a 70s/80s-era Cockney-Oi!-Working Class-Skin-Et Cetera band who reform occasionally to do Oi! things on stage.  We managed to catch Cock Sparrer on Saturday, as we had made sure to leave early to catch NOFX, a longtime favorite of ours that has enjoyed a listening renaissance with us in the past year.  We made sure to go to the venue’s upper balcony while Cock Sparrer performed, as we wanted no part of the inevitable skinhead roughhousing that was to occur below.  We ended up enjoying the band on many levels, and they seemed like cool people. They were nice bald guys in their 50s, who were just there to perform British working-class anthems for a bunch of rich American kids, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Even if that Oi! stuff isn’t my thing, I still enjoy watching a crowd sway and wail and “Whoaaaaa” to Sham 69-style boot boy music.  My wife kept laughing at the similar thematic elements in the bands songs, i.e., “This song’s about working!”  (Seriously, they have a song called “Working.”)

Cock Sparrer from the balcony

Sorry it’s so blurry, our camera sucks.  Look at that well-lit guy at the bottom, that’s weird.

Following the Sparrer was the NOFX.  I had seen them perform only once before in 1996, and they were the exact same band – which is a good thing.  Fat Mike took the stage wearing Joker makeup, a la the late Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight.  Following some intro music and a few minutes of self-deprecating jokes, the band launched full speed into the classic “Linoleum,” and the crowd went batshit crazy (as did we).  The band then proceeded to hammer through their (45-60 minute?) set in maniacal fashion, only occasionally interrupted by the trademark crowd-baiting banter from Fat Mike, which included his teaching a 12-year old audience member the definition of “Felching.” It was very cool to see all the characters that we’ve come to know from viewing NOFX: Backstage Passport multiple times, not just the band, but the wacky road/tech guys that work with them.  Our favorite is Kent, who Mary Alice got a picture of while working the sound board (see below).  The entire set was superb, except for their closing lip-sync dance number to Avenue Q’s “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”  I wouldn’t call it un-funny, just wasted time where they could have played more songs.  Perhaps the funniest moment of the weekend occurred after we left the venue.  A school bus was parked out front to haul some of the crowd to an after party.  People out front were laughing and taunting them while they hung out of the windows of the bus, and the bus crew were yelling back in turn.  As we were walking down the street to catch a train back to our hotel, the school bus passed by with all the punks hanging out of the windows, making horrendous noise and yelling at people on the street.  Right before the bus left our sight, we saw the emergency roof on the top of the bus being opened by someone, who then stuck there head out into the night air.  Never had I seen such a hilarious and encouraging sight.  Watching it made me feel like a teenager again, and gave me hope for the future.  Poor bus driver, though.

Fat Mike aka Cokie the Clown


Sunday night found us at a cool little restaurant having dinner with an old friend before heading to the Congress to see the one and only Screeching Weasel.  Much like the Dead Milkmen on Friday, the Weas were not the headlining band, so we knew we had to get there with plenty of time to spare.  After leaving the restaurant, we were under the impression that we were very early to see the band; we were not.  As we walked up to the balcony to watch what we presumed to be one of the first bands of the night already in progress, my wife turned to me and asked, “Does that sound like Screeching Weasel to you?”  I said with utter blind confidence that it didn’t, then ran out to the seating area of the balcony, only to see grumpy frontman Ben Weasel singing about a girl named “Cindy,” who currently was having a problem with methadone.  I turned in horror to my wife and stared blankly.  “WELL C’MON!” she shrieked, and we bolted down the stairs toward the venue floor.

Mary Alice had the good sense the ask a merch guy how long they had been on, who shrugged and offered that they maybe had been on five minutes.  Now normally this kind of situation would make me crazy, and I would not be able to get over how we missed the beginning of their set.  But once we stepped on the floor and saw the band under the lights, it didn’t even matter anymore.  Sure I’d been drinking, but I was still instantly sobered (ouch, sorry) by the sheer magnitude of it all.  Here was a band that I had been following with only my ears for 14 years, and suddenly their songs were coming to life before my eyes.  I had never seen Ben Weasel or Dan Vapid (the only two classic/recognizable of five band members anymore) move around before, and I was just mesmerized.  I’m not usually that much of a fan-boy geek, but I couldn’t help it.  The songs being performed were my life, and represented so much of the life my wife and I have made together.  During one of the last songs, my wife and I turned to each other and kissed amongst the surrounding mass of humanity.  At that moment she and I were the only ones there, and band was performing just for two lovers.

Now that you’ve barfed, I’ll just say that it was a great time.  The staff and crowd were getting irritable and stressed after three chaotic nights, Mary Alice was underwhelmed by Screeching Weasel’s performance as it compared to NOFX’s the previous night, I really had to pee after their set, but none of it even mattered.

We were all that mattered.