Over The Weekend: Alkaline Trio, Cursive and The Dear & Departed at the Palladium

Alkaline Trio, Cursive, The Dear and Departed
Palladium Ballroom
March 27, 2010

Better than: Paying good money in hopes of seeing Georges St. Pierre knock out Dan Hardy in the first round of UFC 111.

At this point in its career, Alkaline Trio could take the easy route and pander to the portion of its audience that remains below drinking age.

Thankfully, the band didn't to the crowd that showed up Saturday night.

While the mostly-full Palladium boasted plenty of teens (some accompanied by their parents) and college students, the bulk of the audience consisted of folks that have stuck with the band since its late-1990s pinnacle.

After taking stage shortly after 10 o'clock, the band ripped tirelessly through 19 songs largely culled coming from Good Mourning, From Here to Infirmary, and its latest, This Addiction. And, for the most part, the crowd quite noticeably sang along to these tunes. In turn, the band looked quite happy to be up on stage.

But those in the crowd that wanted to hear material from the band's first two albums would have to wait.

Eventually, they'd be rewarded, though. Handsomely.

Unearthing a nugget that was recorded for a compilation in the '90s, the Trio played "My Friend Peter" to quite an enthusiastic response. And, when it finished its main set with "'97," one of its earliest songs, the crowd demanded an encore.

As previewed in the Q&A with Matt Skiba, the band switched instruments for two of the three songs it encored with. Starting with "Fine" from This Addiction, Skiba's talents on the drums proved quite good. So too were Dan Andriano's guitar playing, and Derek Grant's bass playing. In other words: This wasn't just some goof-off encore where you hoped the band members would switch back their instruments.

Grant then took lead vocals on a cover of The Misfits' "Angelfuck" and showed a great command of his voice; he was able to hit Glenn Danzig's range without any straining.

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Finally, upon switching back to its primary instruments, the band members proved that they'd saved the best for last, ending its headlining set with "Radio" from Maybe I'll Catch Fire. And, to be fair, when you play a song like that, you can't really play anything afterward that could top it.

So the band said goodnight and goodbye.

Earlier in the night, The Dear & Departed played exactly 30 minutes to a quarter-full room of people that appreciated the band's music. But there was something that just felt lightweight about the band: The tunes were thankfully not whiny emo tunes, sounding more influenced by The Cure, The Smiths, and Modern English, but they still left much to be desired.

Meanwhile, Cursive, which played Hailey's in Denton back in November, came with the same lineup from last time around, but somehow felt far more distant. Usually, frontman Tim Kasher has plenty to say between songs. This time, the band went from one song to another without any real stops. New drummer Cully Symington was still a strong presence, though, and thankfully the Palladium's sound system was able to handle his meat-and-potatoes thump.

Critic's Notebook
Personal Bias:
I'm one of those Trio fans that was a big fan of during its time on Asian Man and Vagrant, but I lost a little bit of track of the band later on. I'm glad to say I'm back on board.

By The Way: While there was no major mosh pit, there were a few crowd surfers at this show. One of them lost a shoe early on in the show, but kept wanting to surf again. That's either dedication or sheer stupidity.

Random Note: Just before the band played "Angelfuck," Derek Grant and Matt Skiba teased the crowd with a small portion of The Misfits' "Bullet." Since the song's subject matter is about JFK's assassination, where else in the country could you play this?

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