With warm, overpriced pints, incredibly slow staff and sound that’s never quite right, you have to wonder what it is that makes Newcastle’s Academy so special. Then you experience a top class act onstage and it’s there for all to see: Newcastle’s fans bring passion and enthusiasm like no others, screaming and shouting out every word and bringing an energy that inspires the band to a new level.
For rock and punk fans Alkaline Trio are an act that aren’t going to be ignored – it’s a date penned in permanent ink for months before and an act worth getting excited about. After nearly 19 years in the industry, they’re a band that have been there, fallen from grace, rediscovered themselves and stripped it all back to what they do best: making great rock albums.
With a core bunch of fans that have been there from the start, been through it all – even some of their more questionable years – Trio are always going to sell places out but 2010’s shake up saw them start to build a second empire of post-Addiction fans, which has lead to a great age range of late teenage fans to those in their early 40s.
Taking to the stage to cries of “TRIO, TRIO”, the Illinois-based boys launched straight into This Could Be Love without wasting any time with formalities. With the energy set in place from the off, Trio appeared refreshed, like a band that have surpassed their troubles and embraced the music once again. As the band raced through their opening numbers, it seemed like no time before the set was nearing its end and fan favourite, rock athem Stupid Kid, was blaring out to a room filled with adoring fans, lapping up every second.
In between the band threw in a number of traks from last year’s hugely successful Addiction, with tracks such as I Wanna Be A Warhol and She Lied To The FBI proving real singalongs and offering a further sign that the band still have what it takes to pen the tunes that the kids want to hear.
Perhaps the only genuine criticism would be the length of a performance that lasted around an hour and 20 minutes. For a band with eight studio albums to their name, they could have thrown in a couple more crowd pleasers.