Alkaline Trio Camden Underworld 25/01/10

alkaline trio camden
The sense of anticipation surrounding this show becomes evident as soon as I walk out of Camden Tube Station. Twenty minutes before doors open and there is already a cue of dedicated fans braving the cold to grab a good spot to see Chicago's finest.

Not that you would need to go in early to have a good view, Camden Underground is a tiny venue for a band like Alkaline Trio and, much like me, I guess these fans must be having to pinch themselves to make sure they aren't in fact dreaming.

Unsurprisingly, the place is packed although thankfully, getting a beer doesn't take long so after hitting the bar and picking up my pre-ordered merchandise, I grab my spot on the floor.
matt and dan alkaline trioAt just after 9pm, Trio make a fairly low key entrance to the stage and launch straight in to new single 'This Addiction'. For the next 20 or so minutes, they proceed to belt out some classic Alk3 material including 'Fatally Yours' and a storming rendition of 'Stupid Kid' complete with fantastic audience participation. The chit-chat between songs is kept to a minimum and the band never take their foot off the gas while flying through songs spanning their whole career.

matt skibaThe old trio are catered for with the addition of an unrehearsed version of 'Goodbye Forever' and one of the best versions of 'My Friend Peter' I have ever heard which Matt Skiba playfully introduces as "My Friend London". One of the highlights of the evening comes in the form of 'Cringe' off 1998's 'Goddamnit' in which Skiba pauses to let the crowd sing ("you were the last good thing I ever saw"). Chills.

While the crowd catches their breath, Skiba announces that tonight's gig sold out in under 4 minutes and, for anyone disappointed to have missed out on a ticket, they will be back for a UK tour in May.

Dan Andriano churns out song after song of flawless quality and Derek Grant is happy to sit behind the kit and let the other two share the limelight while only briefly breaking his strong silent persona to stand up and conduct the crowd like a choir during the last chorus of set closer, 'Radio'.

After the thanks are said and the last chords ring out, the crowd starts to filter out and I cant help but think Alkaline Trio were made for venues like the Underworld, small, sweaty and full of fans singing along to every word.

Reliving the gig on the way home, I cant help but think that they should they have played more material off 'Maybe I'll Catch Fire' and at times Skiba's voice was a bit shaky and at just under an hour and half, they could have played a longer set. But in all honesty, none of this matters in the slightest because I have just witnessed a very special gig by a very special band.

alkaline trio camden

Choice Cuts: 'In Vein', 'My Friend Peter (London)', 'Time To Waste'


Brendan monteiro 27 January 2010 at 22:43  

Nice review Matt, definitely agree that the Trio were made for venues like this

Matt 'Cliff' Clifford 28 January 2010 at 09:41  

Thanks Brendan, it looks like you were stood very close to me from the photos on your site!

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I am currently in my final year at Winchester University studying Journalism. I hope to become a music journalist although I now realise how difficult it would be to make a living from. Im currently assessing my career options so any suggestions would be welcomed!


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