Alkaline Trio Gives Raw and Real Performance on Monday At The Fillmore


I was still recovering from the weekend on Monday, so the fact that I hadn’t heard anything about covering the Alkaline Trio show on Monday night wasn’t all bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I love Alkaline Trio. They will forever be a favorite of mine, but the prospect of having the night off seemed nice– or at least that’s what I told myself. As the time inched closer to the start time for the show, I realized that I was kidding myself. I wasn’t going to miss this show. I mean, it was Alkaline Trio– come on. Stress started to hit, but as soon as I began to go down the “it’s okay to have a night off” rabbit hole, the email came in. I was in for the show, and on top of that, I was approved to do photos. My heart fluttered, and after a quick nap, I headed to The Fillmore in downtown Minneapolis as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as I could be with my current stress and exhaustion levels.

Brooklyn, New York-based Worriers were up first. This is one of those bands that has been hitting perfectly lately (not unlike the other two acts playing), so I was super excited to experience their magic live again. The last time I saw this group was back in October of 2021 when they came through with The Menzingers, and although it has been years since that, nothing has really changed here, and I loved that. The raw performance hit me like a train. Vocalist Lauren Denitzio has a way with words, and how Lauren presents said words is truly beautiful.

I’ll be honest, I could tell that the rest of the audience wasn’t super into Worriers. Their sound was calmer than what was to come, and, for some reason, this band never hit the legendary status that the headliner has (although I feel like Worriers is more than worthy of said legendary status). Even with that being said and with the constant light roar of chatter happening around me, I spent most of Worriers quick opening set feeling like it was just me, Lauren, and the amazing band in the room. I may have been one of the few who was hit so hard by Worriers’ set, but it was a hell of a way to start what would turn into a truly perfect night of music.

I found a sense of calm in Worrier’s set, but that calm didn’t last as Drug Church took the stage. Much like Worriers, I haven’t seen Drug Church in years, yet nothing has really changed with this group, and that’s a good thing. Drug Church was easily the heaviest band on the three-band bill. Their post-hardcore sound was as intense as the small pit that had formed. They were an outlier on the bill, and they acknowledged that in the most beautiful way. Vocalist Patrick Kindlon spent the majority of his time between tracks checking in with the people in the front row. He urged them to let security know if they felt uncomfortable so they could be plucked out of the crowd. On top of that, he promised that these people would get their spots back to see their favorite band (referencing the headlining act). I have a feeling security didn’t like this protocol, but, as someone who used to be that human in the front row getting bashed and legitimately injured just because I didn’t want to lose my spot, I loved this about Patrick and Drug Church’s performance.

Post-hardcore, punk, hardcore– call Drug Church’s sound whatever you want- it’s intense but shares the raw emotion that I got from Worriers opening set. That’s what made this line-up so genius to me. Sure, this wasn’t a hardcore show and Drug Church stuck out like a sore thumb with the way they were asking for a waterfall of bodies to come over the front barrier in the form of crowd surfers but the raw emotion and honesty that came with each word and song made them the perfect fit for the night. Even if you were one of those people that felt a bit uncomfortable during the set or felt it was just noise and was too loud, I’m sure there was something you took away from Drug Church’s set and my guess is it was a heart full of passion and fire.

I have seen Alkaline Trio twenty times at this point and have written about them over a dozen times, so I promise I will not waste your entire day trying to explain why you should love this band as much as I do. I also don’t feel like that is right. I have plenty of friends in the scene who don’t get the hype or think this band is a bit of a sell-out act. The fact that vocalist Matt Skiba has spent the past couple of years as the vocalist for Blink 182 doesn’t help, but I don’t care. Alkaline Trio is one of those bands that has spoken to me for decades, and it’s not going to stop because others think they are “too big.” So there I was, in the photo pit with my camera slung around my neck, waiting for the chance to photograph one of those bands that have been with me for decades, and, as the trio took the stage, I couldn’t help but get a bit teary-eyed.

Although Alkaline Trio is out on tour in support of their new album ‘Blood, Hair, and Eyeballs’, I loved that they seemed to spend most of their nineteen-song set in their back-catalog. It was no surprise, as I have seen them do this time and time again, but this band condensed ten albums worth of tracks into a perfectly curated set. Sure, there were songs I would have loved to hear them play that were left off of the setlist but, in reality, with a band as legendary as Alkaline Trio, they would only head home hearing some of the songs they wanted to. There were many highlights throughout the set when it came to the songs they played. Obviously ending with “Radio” and with the entire audience screaming along to the iconic words of that song was a highlight but, for some reason, “Calling All Skeletons” (a song I typically skip when listening to Alkaline Trio) hit just right and all of the new tracks they snuck into the set sounded flawless.

Okay, flawless isn’t quite the right word. From the beginning of the set, I could tell that vocalist Matt Skiba wasn’t feeling his best. There was just something about his voice and something about his mannerisms that told me he was feeling a bit under the weather. After just a couple of songs, he admitted to this. He told the audience he had been sick Monday morning (and he meant sick- sick) but was trying to power through. He did a great job but, as the set went on, you could tell he was fading fast. The band cut a couple of songs and ended the night a little early. A sense of guilt radiated off the stage when this happened and the band tried to compensate by throwing a multitude of guitar picks, drumsticks, and other swag into the audience.

Everyone in the audience appreciated this, but I can speak for everyone in attendance at the packed show on Monday when I say that we were just grateful to have received the performance we did. Much like you and I, band members are not machines; they get sick too, and seeing a band as big as Alkaline Trio succumb to something so human really adds a personal touch to a band that already hits so many people so profoundly.

I had spent Monday trying to convince myself that it would be okay to miss this show. I’m glad I didn’t miss it and am honored to have spent my Monday with Alkaline Trio, Drug Church, and Worriers.