With Cursive and The Dear & Departed
We're not sure about the cat whisker make-up (an homage to hometown heroes KISS, perhaps?), but frontman Matt Skiba and his band exhibited a rare trait—playfulness—during Alkaline Trio's sold-out show on Friday at the Nokia. Shrugged-off forgotten words ("Mercy Me"...not that hard of a song, dude), repeated shout-outs mid-song to NYC, instrument swapping during the band's encore set (where drummer Derek Grant ripped though the Misfits' "Attitude")...these were not the morbid, acidic goth-punks of old.
Which is good and bad. The band's new stuff (especially "Dead on the Floor") is contemplative, mid-tempo and, lyrics aside, pleasant. The band's old material, meanwhile, explodes. The energy and pain in "Crawl" and "Goodbye Forever" rightfully set the crowd off. If AT isn't in that same headspace to write more of those two minute blasts of rage 'n regret, bully for them. But even in good health and spirits, it was nice to be reminded throughout the night of the group's brilliantly damaged past.
If you went to a Midwestern college in the late-Nineties, there is a chance you saw opener Cursive play. Maybe twice. WIth The Dear & Departed.--Kirk Miller
More concert photos: Dillinger Escape Plan at Irving Plaza | The National at The Bell House | Broken Bells at Music Hall of Williamsburg | Alice and Chains at Terminal 5 | Muse at Madison Square Garden | Jay-Z at Madison Square Garden l Flogging Molly at Hammerstein Ballroom l Editors at Terminal 5 l Motion City Soundtrack at Irving Plaza | Kid Cudi at Irving Plaza | Charlotte Gainsbourg at The Bell House | Dinosaur Jr. at Brooklyn Bowl | Vampire Weekend at United Palace | Julian Casablancas at Terminal 5