Gig Review
Alkaline Trio
The Audition, Broadway Calls
London, Koko
17th february 2009

Alkaline Trio               The Audition        Broadway Calls
Photo Of London Koko © Copyright Trigger Tonight is the last night of Alkaline Trio’s 2month long UK tour and happens to be the second of a double whammy of shows at the Koko in Camden London, and hours before the doors are due to open at 7pm the queue is quite massive spiralling around the building, but it looks like a good handful or more people have been waiting there pretty much all day for the very much delayed meet and greet with Alkaline Trio.

After hours of waiting and watching a power made jobs worth come up on far too many occasions holding his bunch of keys and telling the fans to queue closer to a wall because they are blocking up a public highway which they weren’t nowhere near blocking up, the doors were finally open and everyone was allowed in.

The Koko is a very nice venue, when you first walk in you get the feeling that you are walking onto a aeroplane as it has that same kind of tunnel walkway, but once you walk through it you actually get to see how big and nice the venue is, the whole venue is decked out in red and black paint, the venue is very tall with balconies going all the way to the top so fans can watch the show from high up, at the very middle top of the venue there is a big disco ball hanging and spinning around which I hope never falls down as its big enough to cause a lot of damage. It’s safe to say that the Koko is the perfect venue for Alkaline Trio due to the red and black nature of the venue which is pretty much Alkaline Trio’s favourite colours and sits well with their logo, also I would say the venue is perfect replacement venue for the Astoria which sadly closed down recently, so fingers crossed we should see more bands play here in the future.

Photo Of Broadway Calls © Copyright TriggerThe first band on tonight were Broadway Calls, they took to the stage at 7.30pm and played a 30minute and it was one hell of a powerful set, they are three guys who love to listen to and play poppy punk music and they do it to the best of their ability and they have really good stage presence with drummer Josh going mental bashing the hell out of drums which such power and passion, Guitarist and vocalist Ty Vaughn has a great set of vocals and plays his guitar so well, whilst bassist and other vocalist Matt Koenig has an even more powerful voice than that of Ty and spends the majority of the set jumping, running and pretty much using up a lot of energy on stage. A lot of songs from the band’s debut album ‘Oregon’ were played tonight such as ‘Van Rides And High Tides’, ‘Suffer The Kids’ etc, but the main highlight was when they played ‘Bad Intentions’ and ‘Call It Off’ back to back, the energy displayed on stage during these two songs was immense and then they went on to finish with ‘Back To Oregon’ before leaving the stage. Broadway Calls got a really good reception, they started playing when the room was very empty and by the time they came off stage the room was pretty much full and everyone was buzzing with the energy that these guys created. Now bands like Blink 182 and Green Day are back on the horizon I feel if they ever need a support band, they won’t go wrong in Broadway Calls.

Photo Of Broadway Calls © Copyright TriggerAfter Broadway Calls we headed to the bar to get a drink during the 20minute wait it was for The Audition to take to the stage and this where my only negative comment about the Koko came in, we ordered a pint of beer, but instead was giving a can poured into a pint glass that nowhere near filled the top of the glass, and they we were charged £3.90, yes £3.90 for a single standard sized can of Fosters , now if that wasn’t called rape on the wallet then I don’t know what is.

Photo Of The Audition © Copyright Trigger The lights finally dimmed and The Audition took to the stage, this time around they come across a lot better than what they were in Birmingham, but somehow the crowd are not liking it with many people giving The Audition big boo’s which was very unjustified as they tried their best and did put on a good show, but the downside to The Audition is that they sound very much like a poor man’s Panic At The Disco! And also seem to nick other people’s riffs and music within their own which really isn’t going to do them any favours. On the plus side the band played some fan favourite songs such as ‘Warm Me Up’, ‘Dance Halls Turn To Ghosts’, ‘Basebhat’, and the few people that were in the crowd to see The Audition seemed to really enjoy it, the set finished with Josh Franceschi from You Me At Six taking to the stage for a bit of guest vocals whilst prancing all over the stage like the energetic man he is, as the song finished The Audition front man Danny Stevens threw his microphone down and stormed off stage and you can’t really blame the man especially after how hard they tried and the bad reception they got.

Photo Of Alkaline Trio © Copyright TriggerAfter a 30minute wait of changing equipment around the headline act Alkaline Trio took to the stage which was met with loud screams from the 1000’s of fans that are in the packed out Koko tonight, the band started off the set in the same fashion as they have done during the whole of the tour with playing ‘Calling All Skeleton’, ‘Private Eye’ and then ‘I Lied My Face’, just by hearing these three songs I knew we were in for a good night as the sound was so much better than it was in Birmingham just over a week ago and the overall atmosphere was so much better, it just shows what a difference a half empty and packed out venue can make to a gig.

Tonight Alkaline Trio have a big banner at the back of the stage which looks very similar to the writing inside the limited edition copy of their latest album ‘Agony And Irony’, it looks good and it’s another element of a classic gig in the making. The only downside I would say is that bassist Dan Andriano really didn’t look and feel the part tonight he was dressed with a gray tea cosy style hat on his head and spent the majority of the set swaying back and forth which to me didn’t come across ideal for a man who should be on a high playing his last show of their UK tour at a packed out venue, luckily this didn’t affect his performance as everything he did was spot on. Derek Grant on the other hand seemed to be having the time of his life bashing his drum kit all about. And front man Matt Skiba spent a lot of the night interacting with the crowd and put on a performance which could easily have been the best performance of the tour.

Photo Of Alkaline Trio © Copyright TriggerAlkaline Trio went on and played a lot of their classics such as ‘Cringe’, ‘I Found Away’, All On Black’ and even ‘Mercy Me’ which is the first time I have heard them play it out of the three times I have seen them on this tour so that was one of the surprise highlights of the show.

One of the most moving moments of the show was when front man Matt Skiba dedicated ‘Goodbye Forever’ to the late Jerry Finn and gave a nice speech about all the fantastic work Jerry has done in the past, Alkaline Trio then went on to play the song with raw passion sounding as punk as ever.

Photo Of Alkaline Trio © Copyright TriggerThe last song of the night before the encore was ‘This could Be Love’ which went down extremely well with the majority of the Koko singing along, the band then left the stage for a short time before Matt came back on a played a stunning acoustic version of ‘Blue In The Face’ before the band rejoined him for them to rock out with their usual set finisher ‘Radio’ which had the whole of the Koko signing and swaying along.

Overall tonight’s show was amazing, Broadway Calls started things off in good fashion, The Audition tried to carry it on but got brought down by many select immature people in the crowd who didn’t even give them a chance, whilst Alkaline Trio picked things up and totally rocked out playing one of the best shows I have ever seen them play which is some achievement as after all this was Alkaline Trio show number 9 for me.

Broadway Calls 5/5
The Audition 3.5/5
Alkaline Trio 5/5

Review By Trigger
 Alkaline Trio

Dan Andriano (Bass, Vocals)
Derek Grant (Drums)
Matt Skiba (Guitar, Vocals)

 The Audition

Danny Stevens (Lead Vocals, Guitar)
Seth Johnson (Lead Guitar)
Timmy Klepek (Rhythm Guitar)
Joe Lussa (Bass)
Ryan O'Connor (Drums, Percussion)

 Broadway Calls

Ty Vaughn (Guitar, Vocals)
Matt Koenig (Bass)
Josh Baird (Drums)

 Band Related Links
Alkaline Trio Myspace
The Audition Myspace
Broadway Calls Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?