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Alkaline Trio, O2 Academy Bristol

May 27, 2010

Alkaline Trio are one of the few bands with the talent to pull off writing sinister, morbid songs and somehow having them end up disturbingly upbeat. Harnessing the same skill they manage to make the entire crowd look happy from the moment they step onto the stage and start singing songs about dead bodies and heroin until they finish their encore triumphantly and retreat into the shadows, probably to drink copious amounts of alcohol until they have to repeat the entire process again in some other city.

Despite die-hard Alkaline Trio fans being far from pleased with their recent efforts, all of the songs tonight manage to stand up well against each other, with a large proportion of the crowd singing along almost as enthusiastically to We’ve Had Enough as they did to the opener, Private Eye, from the album From Here to Infirmary which is widely regarded to be one of the best they’ve produced. It was a rare thing to experience all of the elitist bullshit perpetuated by people needing to be seen as ‘real fans’ only claiming to enjoy a bands early work being pushed aside for one night in order to simply enjoy the experience of seeing a band they love play onstage, and the atmosphere was all the better for it.

In addition to the excellent set list choices Alkaline Trio also had a surprise in store as after the obligatory encore Derek ‘The Reaper’ Grant strode to the front of the stage and strapped on a bass while Matt Skiba took his place at the drums for the Dan Adriano lead ‘Fine’ before ‘The Reaper’ was given the chance to be the front man, singing a cover of the Misfits song ‘Skulls’ which turned out to be a definite crowd pleaser. They finished up with Radio, a song I had been hoping they’d play as it’s one of my favourites and as the entire venue sang along loudly, and vehemently to the chorus of ‘I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you my darling / In case you haven’t heard I’m sick and tired of trying / I wish you would take my radio to bathe with you / plugged in and ready to fall’ it was clear that I wasn’t alone in my love for this song, nor for the band themselves. It really is no wonder so many people choose to get the heart skull logo inked onto their flesh when you see the devotion and passion that the fans heap upon this band, and from this performance it’s clear that they deserve every bit of it. If only it had managed to remove the memory of having to endure Set Your Goals as support, it would have been perfect.

Set List

Private Eye
Armageddon
Emma
Dine, Dine My Darling
This Could Be Love
We’ve Had Enough
Another Innocent Girl
Dead On The Floor
Warbrain
Crawl
Off The Map
This Addiction
Snake Oil Tanker
Sadie
Blue Carolina
Clavicle
Stupid Kid
’97

Encore

Fine
Skulls (Misfits cover)
Radio

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 2, 2010 11:27 am

    I absolutely loved your review… I skimmed over it briefly the other day because I was seeing the band in London last night and I didn’t want to ruin any surprises! But now I’ve given it a thorough read and I totally agree with you – did you not like SYG then? Radio blew the roof off the roundhouse! x

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