Alkaline Trio / Cursive @ Metro, Chicago, IL

Live Reviews | Mar 3rd, 2010

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Date: February 27th, 2010
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When it was announced that Cursive and Alkaline Trio were touring together, I think every little emo-hearted punk let out a girlish squeal. After all, it was Alkaline Trio and Cursive. Unfortunately, Saturday’s sold-out performance at Chicago’s the Metro did not exactly live up to expectations.

Cursive played a set composed mainly of songs off their Domestica and The Ugly Organ records almost neglecting their last album, Mama I’m Swollen. Interestingly enough, “From The Hips” suffered from lackluster horns while “Big Bang” turned out to be Cursive’s best performance that night because of the horns. Cursive’s catalogue is diverse and that might have been what was at fault. Cursive’s last stop in Chicago was in support of Mama, I’m Swollen and while that show had songs from different albums, it was concentrated on Mama, I’m Swollen. Saturday’s performance seemed lost. As a result, Cursive’s set never had a chance to gain momentum. The set was disjointed and disappointing. While Cursive and Alkaline Trio both have similar fan bases, I highly doubt Cursive gained any new fans Saturday night.

Alkaline Trio (who I would consider to be the lesser band out of the two) ended up saving the night. I do not think it is possible for this band to ever disappoint their hometown crowd. Through good performances and bad, they seem to always please. Like Cursive, the group chose to delve deep into their catalogue and only play a few songs off their recent release This Addiction. Title track “This Addiction” and “Dine, Dine, My Darling” received a proper introduction to Chicago (the band previewed the songs with a poor performance at last year’s Riot Fest). For the rest of the night, Alkaline Trio relied heavily on crowd favorites. “Armageddon,” “Goodbye Forever,” We’ve Had Enough,” and “97” were all performed and accompanied by the singing crowd. Alkaline Trio proved to be true Chicago natives by transitioning from “Fatally Yours” into The Smoking Pope’s “I Love You Paul.” The night ultimately ended with “Radio.”

It’s often said that Alkaline Trio rests on its laurels and is relatively the same band they were when they started. Why create and release new material if they are not going to play it? I cannot give you an answer for that. What I can say is that Saturday night’s crowd had no problem with the set list and probably preferred it that way. Alkaline Trio never deviates far from their catchy punk formula. This allows them the opportunity to put together a set list that spans their career. Unlike Cursive, Alkaline Trio can have almost any song from any album and still have their set be cohesive.


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