New Found Glory / Alkaline Trio / H2O

New Found Glory / Alkaline Trio / H2O: live in Pittsburghlive in Pittsburgh (2013)
live show

Reviewer Rating: 4

Contributed by: GreggHarringtonGreggHarrington
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This year's Rockstar Energy Drink tour is an interesting lineup: a co-headlining outing between New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio with openers H2O. I found it interesting because at the turn of the century, the lineup could have easily been flipped around, with H2O headlining (they were on MCA suppo.

This year's Rockstar Energy Drink tour is an interesting lineup: a co-headlining outing between New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio with openers H2O. I found it interesting because at the turn of the century, the lineup could have easily been flipped around, with H2O headlining (they were on MCA supporting Go at that point), Alkaline Trio as direct support, and A New Found Glory as the freshmen openers. Times have changed, each band has joined and departed major labels and found a home back on independents, and November 14, 2013 found them playing a corporation-sponsored tour at a corporation-owned venue in Pittsburgh, Stage AE, owned by none other than retail outfit American Eagle.

The large venue was impressively filled with a strangely diverse crowd: grizzled hardcore kids mingled next to pop-punk high schoolers and normal-looking parents shared the smoke-filled air with awkward social outcasts. The smoke was largely ironic as it cut through the air during H2O, who charged out onto the stage to a pre-recorded sample that mixed Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" with Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York." The band immediately kicked into the anthem "Family Tree." They then breezed through their usual hits from 2008's Nothing To Prove and 1999's F.T.T.W., but unexpectedly threw in "Role Model," the sole single from Go. Between songs, frontman Toby Morse waxed nostalgic about the positive relationship between the band and Pittsburgh, and talked about being offered the opportunity to open this tour and not turning it down. The humble approach by Morse was very refreshing and a nice thing to hear. The band later kicked into a jam of "Walking On The Moon" by The Police, sung by guitarist Rusty Pistachio, which lead into the band's closing number, "What Happened." As expected, Alkaline Trio's Matt Skiba walked out to the side microphone and contributed his guest spot on the song's bridge.

Alkaline Trio was part of my "punk rock starter kit" I was given when I was 14. I'm now 26 and this is the first time I've seen the band. Having heard some iffy things about volatile live shows by the Trio and associated bands, I wasn't sure what to expect. About a half hour after the end of H2O's set, Alkaline Trio took to the stage, which was sparsely lit except for a trio of candles atop Matt Skiba's guitar cabinets. Donning varsity jackets, they quickly started their 18-song set with the opening song from Goddamnit, "Cringe." Both Skiba and bassist Dan Andriano had little to say in between songs, opting to drive through the 18-song set with no filler at all. While the addition of pre-recorded samples being played through the PA during select songs was a pleasant surprise, the band didn't sound so great due to the mix in the venue, which was nothing but drums. This didn't seem to deter the crowd as everyone was singing along to the entire set. Closing with "My Friend Peter" launched the crowd into a frenzy and was an impressive way to end the set.

After Alkaline Trio's equipment was taken down, New Found Glory didn't make the crowd wait long before being shot out of a cannon and hitting the stage with an unmatched energy, even in the band's 16th year of existence. Vocalist Jordan Pundik interacted with the crowd, who were still pumped up from Alkaline Trio's set. The band's set was filled with a light atmosphere and plenty of entertaining banter from Pundik and Chad Gilbert, the latter of which joked about playing at an American Eagle-owned venue when they "only want to play at Wet Seal venues." The entire band traversed the stage, including Pundik who serenaded a pair of security guards standing on the side of the stage. Around the halfway of the band's extensive set, Gilbert talked at length about the band's devoted fanbase that bought their early albums on physical formats in actual record stores on the day it came out. At the end of his speech, he told every new fan in attendance to give $5 to an old fan for their troubles.

The band played two songs from the extensive catalog of cover songs: Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" and Sixpence None The Richer's "Kiss Me," which was endearingly dedicated to Freddie Prinze, Jr. The band were also joined by Matt Skiba and Dan Andriano during "Forget My Name", which ended with Skiba being carried around on Chad Gilbert's back, keeping up with the fun atmosphere the band offered up during their set. After wrapping up their set with the single "My Friends Over You," the band returned to the stage for a brief two-song encore to end the night.

Family Tree
Nothing To Prove
Still Here
Role Model
One Life One Chance
Five Year Plan
Guilty By Association
What Happened

Take Lots With Alcohol
I Found Away
I Wanna Be A Warhol
My Standard Break From Life
Kiss You To Death
Time To Waste
Queen Of Pain
Every Thug Needs A Lady
Calling All Skeletons
Dead And Broken
I Lied My Face Off
Another Innocent Girl
This Could Be Love
My Friend Peter

All Downhill From Here
Don't Let Her Pull You Down
It's Not Your Fault
Truck Stop Blues
I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
Connect The Dots
Hit Or Miss
Listen To Your Friends
Anthem For The Unwanted
Failure's Not Flattering
Dressed To Kill
Kiss Me
Forget My Name
Truth Of My Youth
Hold My Hand
My Friends Over You
The Story So Far


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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
BarleyPat (November 22, 2013)

Oh great, list boy is back.

telegraphrocks (November 20, 2013)

Girl, you funny!

EchosMyron (November 20, 2013)

telegraphrocks is a useless, whiny pissant. Someone needs to pump a couple rounds into his head.

ryanky (November 20, 2013)

pretty much identical to the show in cincinnati on the 16th, even down to Chad Gilbert's "give $5 to the old fans" story. it's been years since i've seen any of these bands, but they all sounded great and knew how to work the crowd.

paulrulzdood (November 20, 2013)

my point is, that's why Alk3 play the same set more or less. they want to be tight/precise/professional. everything is well thought out. after skiba kills his voice on Sadie, andriano sings a couple songs. it's a well thought-out set. the days of them busting out "she took him" because someone yelled for it and skiba doing 5 songs in a row are done. It's a calculated performance now, it's all about being as tight/professional as possible. when you do spontaneous sets and bust out 80 songs on a tour, you're going to make mistakes and play less tight and it' sharder to think the sets through with who's voice gets a break and when and all that. is it overthought now? not as fun? that's up to each fan. but it's a very different experience seeing alk3 now as compared to 10 years ago. but so it goes. they're still great live and I liked this professional/calculated performance, even if part of me does still wish they were drunk and drinking on stage. that same part of me also thinks i'm still 21. the realist part of me understands why they do what they do now, and why i'm not in the pit anymore and pounding 15 beers at the show either.

paulrulzdood (November 20, 2013)

and yea, back in 2000 Alk3 were loose cannons, drunk and drinking on stage, playing whatever, sloppiness counts, etc. Skiba also was 25 back then and doing blow and they were unmarried/single degenerate punk dudes, etc. times change. They're well into their 30's now, Andriano's been married a decade, probably has kids, Skiba burned himself out and takes it easy now. The show is more about precision and performing well and sounding good and less about energy and being drunk. Bands can't do that forever or Alk3 would have had to throw in the towel a couple years ago and go to rehab. It was fun while it lasted but I like this professional/well performing band, even if the energy and drunken funniness is gone.

nfg on the other hand are same as ever live. they never were big drunks and always made the shows about playing tight and energetic, and nothing has changed other than they're in their 30's now, but still playing very tight and energetic sets.

paulrulzdood (November 20, 2013)

I was at this show and the performance from all 3 bands was outstanding. The sound in this venue is also great, it's the best club venue Pittsburgh has ever had. I've been a fan of NFG since 2000, Alk3 since 2000 and H2O since 1999. So this was quite nostalgic for me as well.

as for not "changing up the sets", I don't know, I thought alk3 played a pretty varied set, with some deep cuts and rare shit spanning their whole career. sure you wouldn't want to see them multiple nights on this tour as you will hear a repeat set, but do people actually "follow" alk3 around on tours expecting different sets, like they're 311 or pearl jam or phish or something?

NFG fans tend to not care what the band plays, as long as the energy and fun is there. They did pull out some not so often played stuff on this tour though. I've seen them many times over the years and I hadn't heard them do "it's not your fault" live since 2006 and hadn't heard "story so far" since 2005. And i'd never heard that terrible Aerosmith cover, not that I was stoked to hear it.

I thought all 3 bands played really well. great tour.


SomebodysDoneFor (November 19, 2013)

I was at the Philly date of this tour. Alkaline headlined. Set lists were nigh identical between the shows though.

millslane (November 19, 2013)

I have seen Trio and NFG numerous times throughout the years. They always change up quite a bit of their sets. The Trio tour they did earlier this year, they mixed quite a bit up each night. I'm not sure why they didn't on this tour but probably still worth the money.

yinzer (November 19, 2013)

Bummed I missed this. Trio set looks good .

telegraphrocks (November 19, 2013)

Dave, I can understand it a bit more if they're an opening act on a bigger tour, but, really, how many actual "hits" does the band have? They can play the "hits" at every show (which would be about no more than 10 songs, for the "casual" fan), and then do another different 10.
Mix that shit up!!!

In the end though, I guess it doesn't really matter if a fan is only going to one show. But there have been several tours over the past 18 years where I've gone to two shows in a row on a tour, and more than half the time it's the exact same set.

What really intrigues me is how the guys in the band want to play the exact same songs every night when their catalog is so vast.

lmchc (November 19, 2013)

all of those sets are nigh identical to the Silver Spring show - all three bands

davebrave4 (November 19, 2013)

Telegraph, part of it is probably that they want to play the super popular songs that everyone will know instead of just pleasing the serious fans, of whom there are fewer. Uniformity = simplicity = $.

Not sure what any grizzled hardcore kids were doing at this show. Unless the reviewer means H20 fans, in which case plaid, bearded adult babies would probably be a better descriptor.

telegraphrocks (November 19, 2013)

Does it seem extremely fucking lazy to anybody else when a band that has 100 songs (i.e.- Alkaline Trio) play the same exact set-list for every show on a tour (give or take ONE or two rotating songs).
If I was in a huge band like that with over 100 songs, I'd pick the set-list out of a hat each night.

"Oh, they have to practice before they tour".
Shut your fucking mouths. If they fuck up, they fuck up.

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