Alkaline Trio

support Bayside
author PP date 10/05/14 venue KB, Malmö, SWE

The days and weeks before/after Groezrock sure are awesome. Great lineups roll into Copenhagen and Malmö area all the time offering a chance to see some of the seminal bands in punk rock and hardcore in much smaller venues than they deserve. Tonight, it's time for Alkaline Trio, who've brought along Bayside with them who are visiting Scandinavia for the first time in their career. A cool anecdote before we begin: while we're waiting outside for our interview to begin, Matt Skiba arrives to the venue with a skateboard, having been out exploring the streets of Malmö by himself. Neat. But let's get on with it, shall we?

Bayside

Bayside

When Bayside get on stage, the ingredients are there for a disaster. A tiny crowd of approximately 20 or 30 people have gathered in front of the stage as the band kicks off with "Big Cheese", leading me to wonder if after six albums the band can really be this little known in mainland Europe. Fortunately, things pick up quickly and the venue fills up, and small sing alongs begin to manifest themselves across the crowd. "Blame It On Bad Luck" is the first one with a sing along, but later on "Duality" and "The Walking Wounded" showcase that the Swedish (and Danish) crowd has been listening to Bayside classics for quite some time. The band can't hold back their smiles while playing, and genuinely thank the crowd for singing along even though they are so very far away from home and have never played here before. This comes later, though, because Bayside are on a mission to jam-pack their supporting set with as many songs as possible, playing songs in a row in upbeat fashion with one song leading to the next in the best Against Me! fashion. At the same time, their behaviour on stage oozes of down-to-earth vibes, even as the band play energetically and showcase their technical guitar solos from time to time. It feels intimate, the set is definitely tightly played throughout, and generally feels as rock solid as their albums have been with frightening consistency.

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Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio

Matt Skiba is together with his girlfriend, isn't drinking that much, and they have a great album out. Whatever the reason, Alkaline Trio are starting to redeem themselves in my eyes as a live band, having played a solid show at Lille Vega a while back, and delivering their best showing tonight out of the eight times I've seen them in the past. "This Could Be Love" kicks off the set with enormous sing alongs; the band can barely hold back their smiles as they let the crowd sing the "this could be love - loooove for fiiiire" parts without Skiba/Andriano needing to help out. They look super relaxed on stage - and to my surprise allow stage divers free realm on stage, with Skiba at one point even allowing a girl to shoot a photo with him whilst in mid-song. The sound is nothing short of perfect tonight, with levels finally matching Skiba/Andriano's vocals perfectly, meaning that old songs like "Hell Yes", "Every Thug Needs A Lady" and "Cringe" sound absolutely amazing tonight - even if the latter is delivered in a slightly slower version to emphasize the "wide eyed, knee deep in surprise" opener.

"I Wanna Be A Warhol" and "I'm Only Here To Disappoint" follow from the new album, which reinforces the idea that "My Shame Is True" is very well received by the Alkaline Trio crowd, given the sing alongs these songs enjoy on almost even footing with the classic tracks. Speaking of which, the band play some seriously rare tracks tonight; I can't remember the last time I would've seen them play "Mr. Chainsaw" (awesome mosh pit) or "Every Thug Needs A Lady" last time. What's more, they even play "Balanced On A Shelf" from the "Broken Wing" EP that accompanied the new album featuring songs written mostly by Dan Andriano.

Alkaline Trio

"Dine, Dine My Darling" receives a predictably big sing along, as do "Time To Waste", "Stupid Kid", and "Warbrain" respectively. And while there isn't much interaction from the crowd aside from the occasional thank you's and so forth, this isn't really needed with a setlist as strong as the one they are using tonight. The smiles on their faces and how tightly the songs are played (as opposed to some previous times I've seen them) are enough to convince me that the band are having an awesome time on stage. So when the encore comes and the band goes through "Private Eye" and finally "Radio", I have to admit that this is probably the best Alkaline Trio show I've ever witnessed. The band is incredibly solid and tight tonight, and with sound adjusted to perfection every detail and sing along comes across exactly as you want them to be. Go see them while Skiba's happy - this mood might not last forever!

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Setlist:

  • 1. This Could Be Love
  • 2. Hell Yes
  • 3. She Lied To The FBI
  • 4. Every Thug Needs A Lady
  • 5. Cringe
  • 6. I Wanna Be A Warhol
  • 7. I'm Only Here To Disappoint
  • 8. Jaked On Green Beers
  • 9. Sadie
  • 10. Balanced On A Shelf
  • 11. Dine, Dine My Darling
  • 12. Mr. Chainsaw
  • 13. Time To Waste
  • 14. Young Lovers
  • 15. Stupid Kid
  • 16. Warbrain
  • --Encore--
  • 17. Private Eye
  • 18. Radio

Photos by: Lykke Nielsen

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