Concert Review: Alkaline Trio at the Grog Shop

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The fans at last night’s sold-out Alkaline Trio show at the Grog Shop started singing along to the songs right at the start of the band’s set, which kicked off with “This Could Be Love.” The singing didn’t stop until the very end of the 19-song set, and fans even gave some extra effort during “Armageddon,” with a scattering of salutes thrown up. The McHenry, Ill.-based punk rock group had just played three days of Riot Fest prior to coming to town. If last night’s show seemed eerily similar to the Fest set list, it’s because they used the same one and were more than open about it. Singer Matt Skiba admitted, “you’re hearing the same show. We’re cheaters. That’s how we got through high school and that’s how we run our rock ’n’ roll group.”

The band included tracks from all eight of its studio albums during the 90-minute show, and even threw in “Warbrain” off the Remains compilation CD, and “97,” their first song. The energy stayed as high as it had started, with pauses between songs only for a masturbation comment or game of Pictionary. Instead of walking off stage for the old “we’re done, no we’re not” routine, the band simply delivered a two-song encore that ended with “Radio,” a song which started out as an audience-wide slow sway and ended in a full-blown pit.

The three-piece female act Girl in a Coma opened with a 7-song set. The Joan Jett-esque vocals were matched with the singer’s Kristen-Stewart-playing-Joan-Jett look. However, the band captivated an audience that initially seemed indifferent to its set.

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