Alkaline Trio at the Glass House, Pomona

Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio
Matt Skiba of Alkaline Trio
Chad Sengstock

The Hype: The members of gloomy pop-punk band Alkaline Trio live in different parts of the country, which means tours can begin anywhere. With this in mind, singer/guitarist Matt Skiba, bassist/singer Dan Andriano and drummer Derek Grant chose the Glass House in Pomona to kick off a seven-week national tour to promote  their latest record, This Addiction. The 13-track disc, scheduled for a Feb. 23 release on the band's newly formed Heart & Skull (in conjunction with Epitaph Records), is being hailed as a return to form, which for most bands is either the kiss of death or the reclaiming of a throne. Luckily for the Trio and their fans, the answer is the latter.

The Show: Skiba took to the mic to say hello before the group launched into the title track of their latest record. As expected, most of the audience bopped heads politely, but didn't know the tune well enough to get wild. The mellow vibes dissappeared for old-school favorites such as "Mr. Chainsaw," "Armageddon," "Crawl," "Goodbye Forever," "Nose Over Tail" and "Fuck You Aurora." The kids dug these tunes, but it was material from the band's middle era ("In Vein," "We've Had Enough," "Fatally Yours," "Sadie," "Blue Carolina" and "Blue in the Face") that got people most excited.

Somewhere in the middle of "Continental," a fan spit on Skiba, which garnered a negative reaction from the otherwise smiling singer. Once the song was over, Skiba said, "Someone spit a loogie on me, and that's cool, but I was singing a song about my dead friend, so fuck you," before looking into the culprit's eyes and saying, "I dare you to do it again."

The Trio ran through a healthy dose of new songs, but not so many that the show became a snorefest. Tracks such as "Dine, Dine My Darling" and encore opener "Fine"--which featured Andriano on guitar on vocals, Grant on bass and Skiba on drums--meshed well enough to not stand out amongst the hour-long set of fan favorites. They also covered the Misfits' "Attitude" with Grant on vocals. 

The Crowd: The Trio sings songs about death, drinking, drugs and loss, yet for some reason these adult themes attract nearly a 100 percent age 16-22 crowd. Anyone over the age of 25 was surely taking a risk (and that risk was the impending doom created by surrounding yourself amongst a large group of people younger than you and thereby making yourself feel old) by attending the show and more than likely stood far away from the throngs of youngsters more interested in taking pictures than watching the show. A few guys tried running in circles to "Armageddon" and "Mr. Chainsaw," but Trio tunes ain't exactly mosh pit material.

Overheard: After playing new song "Dead on the Floor," a guy in the audience yelled out, "I like it so much I'm going to Google it!"

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