If you’ve worn a black shirt, and raised your fist in agony in the past 10 years, chances are you have at least heard of Alkaline Trio. Alkaline Trio fans are die-hard, like an emo army of punk-rock warriors, much in the same way the hippies have Dave Matthews Band, or just about anybody over 30 has U2. Anyone who is fond of Alkaline Trio’s albums from 1999 to current day, can certainly agree their following is a strong suit. As proven on a tsunami-esque Sunday night in Providence, RI.
Alkaline Trio is made up of Matt Skiba (guitar, lead vocals), Dan Andriano (lead vocals, bass) and Derek Grant (percussion, backing vocals). Although, this is not entirely the original line-up of the band. The members might have changed, and the music might bear a philosophically different point of view, but the intermittent meaning is still very much the same as that very first album that caught everyone's attention, Goddamnit (1998).
Something must be said for a band that has upheld its wide fan base, while continuing to acquire new ones. They've continued through the years, life changes and that scary genre some refer to as “emo”—And yet they are still driving on that endless highway that we all thought might land them in the infamy.
Kicking off the show at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel in downtown Providence was The Dear and Departed from California. They were an undemanding way to open up a show of this caliber, not too forceful, but with just enough spunk. The crowd was indifferent which is better than booing.
The following act was from Omaha Nebraska; a band with lyrics living up to its jaded title, Cursive. A hell of a lot more seasoned than the previous act, they happily inaugurated the entire event. Alkaline fans could be a bit surprised, the maturity rattling from Cursive might keep up, right alongside their headliner. The New York Times described Cursive as “Fugazi-like,” and in my opinion this couldn’t have been described any better. Having added a tiny horn section to their performance, they fit in quite nicely with their punk-rock predecessor.
By the time the long awaited Alkaline Trio approached the stage, it was evident they were going to have to thrill the audience. It was late, rainy and a Sunday. And just as my mind started to wander, Great Scott, it seems that they were pulling it off!—without a hitch, this battery collection of now mid-thirty something punk-rock heroes still have it in them. Without showing a muster of their exhaustion. The red and black trilogy did not appear to be any different than they had when Good Mourning (2003), and From Here to Infirmary (2001) were all the rage. They have worked out all their screws and lack-luster melodies.