Metro in Chicago is this old, architecturally astounding like maybe 1200 person venue. There is a very small main floor and an even smaller balcony. This is the midwest in August in a record heat wave. It is HOTTER THAN A MOFO in that place. But it is worth it to see a band so close. The sound could be a little better, I had a horrible time understanding what Matt was singing both nights if it wasn’t a song that I knew inside and out. I never have a hard time understanding what Dan is saying. His singing voice is like salve to my heart. The problem wasn’t Matt though, it was me. I’ve still got some listening to do. Alkaline Trio has been around for 15 years but I’ve only been a fan for about 1. Alkaline Trio got their start in Chicago. This is their town, this is their venue, this is where it all started for them. This is their 15th Anniversary Show and they brought along the Smoking Popes and River City Extension for the ride. And even though both are bands I’d never heard both are really good bands. Metro is non smoking inside, which has to be not only for air quality but also safety because I am telling you that place is tiny. The bar is cash only and this is how the drinks are poured.
The double s are poured like shots. It’s more like fill a 20oz glass full of ice and vodka and then put a splash of diet coke on top for color. I can only assume that the singles are poured like doubles. I wouldn’t really know, but here is what I did find out. A half empty stomach, a very hot club, and 3 of the Metros doubles from hell will make you have to leave the show in the middle of Clavicle the first night.
We had already left too late from the hotel earlier that night and encountered Paul McCartney concert traffic. We arrived to the club near the end of the Smoking Popes set but still got very good floor near the back standing room. We also both had really high expectations for seeing this band that connects us as a couple. I offered to take one for the team and stay in the form of “I’m ready when you are”. I must of looked pretty awful on our way out because security gave me a whole bottle of water. Then I remember some puking on a cab with my head hanging out the window. Metro is in a big bar district which has to make puking pretty common right? At least I am a considerate drunk and it wasn’t IN the cab. I usually make a plan and tell somebody else what the plan is and stick to it for my liquor. I failed to adjust my plan on the strength of the drinks and the heat. And I paid the price. On the upside we had tickets for both nights and Monday night was the earlier show. I was passed out in my hotel room before 11pm. . I dragged my hungover butt out of bed on Tuesday morning at 8:30 for the 4 mile runnsihmostlywalk along the lake with The Husband while I got a lecture I deserved on what should probably be done differently on night two.
We had a nice lazy day involving nothing more than a yummy brunch that I wished I had more of an appetite for and a long aimless walk around Millennium Park. Dinner was an awesome little Mexican place right across the street from Metro and we got there in plenty of time to line up with the crowd before the doors opened. This gave us a spot right on the rail of the balcony where I remained without leaving once to pee or drink anything for the rest of the night. So we were able to rock on from start to finish and then head back to the hotel to bed. And this time no one puked on the cab.
Overall I’d say this show experience was bittersweet for us. Alkaline Trio has been a band for 15 years, but is a new band for us. The Husband found them via This Addiction on Faction. That led him to deeper research and Radio, his I should fuck off and die song during the worst of the almost divorce. He later turns me on to This Addiction album. At some point I tell him about how much I love Alkaline Trio and he leads me to Radio for myself. So it could be my fuck off and die song for PJ. There is no happier tune to angrier lyrics ever written. C-Lo Green’s Fuck You pales in comparison to Radio . Yet they didn’t play it either night. Radio is lyrical genius. It wasn’t awkward getting music from The Husband during the almost divorce. We had a mostly amicable almost divorce, you might even say it was fairly civilized. Which means it still sucked gigantic donkey balls but was made slightly more tolerable by the fact that we could still connect. They also didn’t play a single solitary thing from This Addiction either night. So we had gone to two shows hoping to hear any of our songs we most love live, and missed hearing a majority if them because they weren’t played. Monday night someone in the crowd had a set list on an iphone so we had already been delivered the disappointment that we wouldn’t be hearing anything from This Addiction. All the music was great because AK3 is an awesome band, but it just wasn’t going to be a legendary spectacular concert adventure night. It was just a show we missed some of. Which I know disappointed both of us. We both love this band, it connects us in a weird sort of healing way. All of the hate has long since evaporated for both of us but we BOTH wanted to hear Radio, and we might of missed it. Tuesday night they didn’t play it either but we left left feeling much better. We agreed on the cab ride home that we had more listening to do. But we both love the band enough to keep doing that listening and catch them another time when we can better sing along to the earlier stuff. I’d even like to go see Dan at that lady riding a jaguar place, but it’s on a week night and a long drive. Maybe I could listen to this on the way up…It’s a live version of Radio at Metro Playing a Halloween Show in 2002. Nice make-up there Matt. I think I like the shirt and tie from Monday night best. 🙂
08/18 update- Dan Andriano is playing 9-24 and not at the jaguar place…oops