Thursday, June 26, 2008

Alkaline Trio / Bayside / The Fashion - 6.24.08

The Chameleon Club
6:30 PM

Before Tuesday night, I hadn't been to the Chameleon in at least five years. But, at the prospect of seeing Alkaline Trio there, I had to go. Compared to their Philly show at the TLA, the club was much smaller, more intimate, and had better sound. And for Heather, a major selling point was Bayside playing at the Lancaster show, and not the Philly date. So, we headed on out past the smell of horse manure and smorgasbords to The Chameleon.

Shortly after arriving, The Fashion began playing to a half empty room, despite the show being sold out. Initially, I wasn't sure how I felt about them, but after they won me over after a few songs. They were energetic and tight, playing a mix of indie punk, with a dancy feel. Despite being from Denmark, they sung in English, and had a fun vibe throughout the set. It got a bit long by the end, but overall they really impressed me. The mix was a bit shoddy at first, and throughout the entire set, the stage left guitar was overpowering, but they sounded good. I could have done without any of keyboard parts (which were already minimal). I really enjoyed The Fashion, for never having heard of them, and I hope they make their way over from Denmark again soon.

Bayside played next, and my mom always taught me if I didn't have anything nice to say, not to say anything at all. I'm kidding, to an extent. They were really tight, and the drums sounded huge, but they seemed a bit slow, and the song selection left a lot to be desired. Of course, I'm not one of the biggest fans of this band anyway, so my opinion may be biased. Either way, I wasn't too interested in their set, although the Hot Topic inspired crowd seemed thrilled with it.

After a set up pause that was way too long, Alkaline Trio finally hit the stage. It'd been years since I'd seen them, and I felt some nervousness about how they would live up to my memories and expectations. Well, any trepidation was wiped out when they opened with "Private Eye." From there, they played at least 17 songs, which I tried to remember, but I invariably missed some. They were energetic and involved in the set the entire time, and strung songs together from all albums. I heard a lot of my favorites that I didn't expect to hear, as well as some of my favorites from Agony and Irony, which will be out soon. Dan had some trouble with his bass amp towards the end of their set, but they worked through them to close with "This Could Be Love" (including a three tier sing-a-long challenge), and an encore of "Old School Reasons" and "Radio." Despite the crowd being annoying (I'm chosing my words very carefully), they knew songs from all albums and sang along to almost all of the set (with the only exception being the songs from Maybe I'll Catch Fire - aside from "Radio"). Despite not seeing The Trio for years, I was happy to see that one of my favorite bands still turns in great performances, with a wide array of songs from all albums.

Setlist (in minimal order): Private Eye (opener), Armageddeon, She Took Him to the Lake, I Lied My Face Off, In Vein, Help Me, Calling All Skeletons, Nose Over Tail, Message from Kathleen, We've Had Enough, Crawl, Time to Waste, Mercy Me, Maybe I'll Catch Fire, Goodbye Forever, This Could Be Love (closer), Old School Reasons (encore), Radio (encore).

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