Saturday, August 9, 2008

Alkaline Trio

I've had a sordid love affair with the music of Alkaline Trio for about the last two years. Prior to that, I viewed the band and all of their fans as B-grade gothy Hot Topicians and didn't give them a chance.

Let me preface this by informing you that I grew up on pop punk and have never stopped loving it. I covered it in a shroud of hardcore/grindcore/whatever for about 10 years, but it was always a pleasure, even if sometimes a guilty one. The early 90's Lookout! Records and Fat Wreck Chords catalogues were trusted advisors to what I should be listening to (and they still, to some degree, hold that position).

Anyhow, I found out that two members of Alkaline Trio were members of the Church Of Satan. At first I thought "that's only slightly less lame than Hot Topic", but then I realized it was the actual LaVeyan Church Of Satan. Okay - I thought - they're obviously atheists with a taste for tongue in cheek. So I gave them a chance and was instantly hooked. Essentially simple pop songs with a matured punk edge, and some of the catchiest and most negative and dark lyrics I've read. I mean, a love song about fire? Sign my up! In addition, some of their songs about growing up religiously I could relate to and really dug their metaphors.

So I continually got hooked on their new material, as well as their back catalogue.

I caught wind they were coming through Denver and despite their growing popularity with a hit song on commercial radio and being in the upcoming MTV video music awards, they were playing a 500 capacity club. I slept on getting tickets and when I finally sought them out, they had been sold out for awhile. I ended up paying $100 for a pair, and sold one for $60 - so I stil paid more than twice the face value to myself.

And that was the big thing I faced. After moving to Denver and finally being in a city where bands stopped on tours, I always had no problem going to shows alone, because I knew I was going to see bands I really want to see. These usually ended up being small, obscure shows with low attendance though. This show would be a packed "ballroom", with an audience made up of die hard fans, and those who just recently heard them on the radio.

...and that was exactly who was there, with me in the middle. I've posted man "love the music, hate the kids" type show reviews, but it just seems to keep happening more frequently these days. Maybe I'm getting old. Maybe live music has become something totally different than what I grew up on.

About a third of the audience were fans who had loved them for like 10 years. And that's cool. They packed the front, sang every word and threw their bras at Matt Skiba (no shit). Though I, being already tired, stayed near the back and sung along to their new(ish) songs. This is where the chads and chadettes were too. The fucking dingbats who just heard their new single on the radio and used it as an excuse to party. These visor wearing skanks poured beer on each other and danced like Lil' Wayne was on stage. Fuck off.

But, the band was good. I'm old I guess.

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