Gig Review: Alkaline Trio at Liverpool Sound City 2012

A write up of my Sound City work is on its way, so hold tight for that but here’s a review of an Alkaline Trio gig I managed to catch when I wasn’t working. This band epitomises my teenage years and I’ve never loved them any less since. I saw them in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, which was amazing so I was beyond excited to see them again at Sound City, especially in such an intimate venue and it certainly didn’t fail me. Feel free to listen to my favourite song of theirs for a bit o’ background noise as you read… 🙂 

Nothing will quite resurrect the anarchic fire that blistered tranquility as 1970s Punk burst onto the music scene or blow the cobwebs from the now-dormant, reckless abandon of the eighties but these triadic tearaways sure give them a run for their dusty dime. Chicago-born, Alkaline Trio were a long way from home this weekend as they commandeered the stage at Liverpool’s O2 Academy, headlining the 2012 Sound City festival. The band has now reached its terrible teens, with Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant celebrating sixteen years of Alkaline Trio, with the juvenile angst and youth-spurred attitude to boot.

It was as if every Goth-grunge clique from every clichéd, American High School movie ever made had bust down the door of the O2 Academy to simmer in the steaming atmosphere, rich with sweat and electricity to witness the penultimate leg of the Trio’s UK tour. Skiba swaggers on stage, flashes the vibrating crowd his irresistible smirk as Grant bashes out a boisterous beat and Andriano releases those familiar vocals into the atmosphere. Nearly two decades later and wealth of life’s experiences and the Trio still resemble a group of naughty schoolboys, rampaging the stage, delivering cleverly crafted lyrics with lashings of wit and a whole host of black humour.

Skiba spat out their songs with as much defiance as the first time as their touring buddy and kid brother figure, Dave Hause launched himself into the bouncing masses; a middle finger salute to health and safety but of immeasurable delight to the crowd. If brick walls were once unable to perspire, these guys made it possible with acidic vibes and a dynamic atmosphere. Abandoning setlist regulations and taking requests from onlookers exposed the raw musical talent, which the industry today is unfortunately becoming so devoid of. This gig was everything Alkaline Trio ever was and hopefully all it ever will be!

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