Reviews

Mama, I'm Swollen

Author: Anna Deem
02/28/2010 | Spinner.com | www.spinner.com | Live Show Preview
Although fans may have gotten to Chicago's Metro early Saturday night in order to see openers Cursive and the Dear and Departed, it was clear that the rowdy, sold-out crowd really only had two words on their mind: Alkaline Trio. Packed wall-to-wall with longtime supporters and friends and family, Alkaline Trio played the first date of a two-day stop in their hometown of Chicago.

Before the headliners took to the stage, Cursive did an excellent job warming the crowd up, playing a diverse mix of songs from their new album, 2009's 'Mama, I'm Swollen,' and older crowd favorites like 'A Red So Deep,' 'A Gentleman Caller' and 'The Martyr.' Singer and guitarist Tim Kasher's signature howl rang out through the Metro, as he gestured wildly with his hands and spun around in circles with his guitar.

The crowd ate up every word, save for a few grumbling Alkaline Trio fans who yelled out, "We don't like you" and "Get off the stage." Ending with 'Sierra' from 2003's 'The Ugly Organ,' Cursive led the crowd in a sing-along as the song faded out and they left the stage amidst excited cheers and applause.

Roughly half an hour later, the house lights switched off and fans roared as Matt Skiba, Dan Andriano and Derek Grant, better known as Alkaline Trio, took to the stage. Kicking their set off with the title track from their new album, 'This Addiction,' which came out earlier this month, fans sang along loudly, clearly having already committed the lyrics to memory. As the fast-paced guitars of 'Armageddon' started next, the crowd quickly turned into a writhing mass-pushing and shoving their way closer to the stage.

Alkaline Trio mostly stuck to older songs during the set, giving the hometown crowd exactly what they paid to see. 'We've Had Enough' gave way to 'Mr. Chainsaw,' which Skiba described as "a song about staying young at heart." Later on, 'Fuck You Aurora' from 2000's 'Maybe I'll Catch Fire' was dedicated to "anyone from Aurora, Illinois."

Perhaps the most telling dedication of their set though came before the Trio launched into 'Goodbye Forever' from 1999's 'I Lied My Face Off' EP. "This next song goes out to anyone that ever saw us at The Fireside Bowl," announced Skiba to the packed room, touching upon the band's history at Chicago's most storied (and now defunct) punk rock venue. After several older songs from 2003's 'Good Mourning,' Skiba addressed the crowd again. "It's great to be back in Chicago. This is my hometown. All of my dearest friends and family are here tonight." The crowd cheered and the Trio closed their set with ''97,' one of their oldest songs that according to Skiba was "actually written in 1996, not '97."

Appearing back on stage several minutes later for the encore (to a repeated chant of "Trio," no less), Alkaline Trio ripped through several new songs before ending the night with 'Radio,' perhaps their biggest fan favorite to date. With the crowd singing along and overpowering the band at times, Skiba paused and let the crowd sing over him, their voices filling the room and carrying the song together. "Thank you, Chicago, you'll always be our home," he said.
Mama, I'm Swollen

Mama, I'm Swollen

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