Chicago punk/rockers cooked up a fire-storm at Manchester’s Academy 1 on Wednesday, delighting old and new fans with a show to remember.
Support came from Broadway calls and The Audition, and while the former were unremarkable, the latter showed enough energy and enthusiasm to get even the most melancholy in the room clapping along to their own brand of infectious pop/punk with tunes like Warm Me Up and Hell To Sell.
The main event arrived to a dark stage, the typically gothic backdrop reads “Agony and Irony”; the title of their new album, as the lights blare to reveal guitar/vocal master Matt Skiba in large square sunglasses, like a rocked-up version of Johnny Depps Willy Wonka, to break into a punchy Calling All Skeletons.
Next up was fan favourite Private Eye, the first of several tracks from the bands celebrated “From Here To Infirmary” album. The song choices were very much for fans: a few catchy new tracks (particularly an impressive rendition of I Found Away) interspersed with classics going well back through the bands repertoire.
Despite only a little direct encouragement, only song-titles and the occasional hello coupled with Dan Andriano giving a timid “thanks”, the crowd revelled in the company of one of the best 90s punk/rock outfit still around.
The only tracks noticeable by their absence were the big songs from 2006’s Crimson, but this is unsurprising considering fans reaction at the time. It was clear that this gig was a celebration of everything that makes the band worthy of their Alkaline Trio skull-tattooed fans devotion.