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Tuesday, January 31

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Review Fri Aug 05 2011

Alkaline Trio Sweat it Out @ the Metro

It's amazing what people will endure for the sake of nostalgia — 90 plus degree temps, oppressive humidity, noticeably absent a/c, short people jammed into taller peoples' armpits, random sprays of liquids (sweat in the worst case beer in the best case). According to the Metro crowd, it was all worth it when the first deep beats of Alkaline Trio's Derek Grant's kick drum pounded over the heat or when Dan Andriano's bass line commanded head convulsions. The hometown punk trio ran through an athletic 22 song set, including one Violent Femmes cover, in front of their signature skulled heart, awash in aggressive red lighting.

Alkaline Trio @ Metro_1 GB.jpg
Alkaline Trio on Monday night at the Metro (Photos by Katie Hovland)

By 10pm, the bodies filling Metro wall-to-wall were eager for a distraction from sticky jeans and sweaty brows. Skinny singer Matt Skiba, in an even skinnier red tie, answered anxious audience demands by launching into angsty yells of set opener, "Armageddon"; too appropriate to have been coincidental. The crowd temporarily forgot its heat with knee-jerk mosh pit moves in reaction to the straight line drum beats and heavy hitting power chords. Oh yes, it was that kind of night.

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Alkaline Trio on Monday night at the Metro (Photos by Katie Hovland)

Amid fist-pumping crowd surfers, Skiba and Andriano traded vocal duties back and forth throughout the night, intermittently sharing those duties with the crowd. Andriano took over for "In Vein" and back to Skiba for "Private Eye", "Snake Oil Tanker", passing it back to Andriano for a jockish rendition of "Blue Carolina". Both vocalist passed their duties to the crowd during "Armageddon" and "Cooking Wine" for one giant chorus yell-along. The sold out Metro crowd turned into a single, throbbing uber fan.

Derek Grant, meanwhile, pounded out his set while remaining dark and brooding, just like you remember Alkaline Trio lyrics: heart ache soaked in alcohol for comfort: "sorry I'm late/I was out spoiling my liver/ I couldn't wait/ the sun was up for far too long today I'm late". And that's exactly what was going on with all the livers in the room.

The sweaty Trio slowed it down and softened their set with Skiba's acoustic version of "Clavicle" (I've always had a soft spot for this one — acoustically it definitely hit the spot) and a string of additional acoustic numbers before covering Violent Femmes and encoring the parched crowd with "Crawl" and "97". By set close only the fans had survived.

Alkaline Trio @ Metro_3 GB.jpg
Alkaline Trio on Monday night at the Metro (Photos by Katie Hovland)

[Note: Due to illness, our photographer attended Monday night's Metro show, while the writer reviewed Tuesday night's show.]

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

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  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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