Alkaline Trio - Halloween at the Metro DVD (Cover Artwork)

Alkaline Trio

Alkaline Trio: Halloween at the Metro DVDHalloween at the Metro DVD (2003)
Kung Fu Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

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

Volume 4 in Kung Fu Films' hit-or-miss "The Show Must Go Off" series chronicles the little Chicago punk band that could, the Alkaline Trio, in their natural environment - The Metro, Chicago's premier club. What the fuck am I saying? The Alkaline Trio's natural habitat should be [and used to be] .

Volume 4 in Kung Fu Films' hit-or-miss "The Show Must Go Off" series chronicles the little Chicago punk band that could, the Alkaline Trio, in their natural environment - The Metro, Chicago's premier club.

What the fuck am I saying? The Alkaline Trio's natural habitat should be [and used to be] the Fireside Bowl. But with popularity comes larger, more impersonal venues [although we can at least be thankful that this wasn't shot at the House of fucking Blues or something stupid like that]. So anyway, last Halloween the Trio cranked out 18 songs to a sold out crowd of ghouls and goblins, and 9 months later, this is what came out.

Right away, the DVD just seems a bit odd - the song selection is rather bizarre, and technical glitches abound. For example, the back of the box states "Band Commentary" as one of the features, but the option is nowhere to be found on the DVD's menus, only being accessible by starting the actual concert and then switching audio tracks using your remote control.

Okay, so it's not a huge pain, but it's just weird, okay?

As for the music - Matt Skiba's voice is fragile enough as the opening notes of "Hell Yes" ring out, and sounds torn to shreds as he bellows "I don't deserve thiiiiiis!" in the closing song, "97." Dan's contributions [a surprisingly strong "Take Lots With Alcohol," as well as "Maybe I'll Catch Fire," "Another Innocent Girl," "I Lied My Face Off," and a sub-par rendition of "Crawl"] all are pretty much on vocally, but Skiba tends to step on Andriano's toes vocally, throwing in his caterwauling, not-so-cleverly disguised as harmonies and backing vocals. This is most evident in "Crawl." The song sounds a bit off on the DVD until Skiba tries to join in singing, and then it's time to reach for the mute button. Not a good thing.

Musically, though, I have to give the band credit - with the addition of Derek Grant on drums, the tempos for a vast majority of these songs have skyrocketed. "Mr. Chainsaw" leaps off the stage in a frenzy, and a reworked version of "Trouble Breathing" kicks the band into Fat Wreck territory, machine gun bass drums a-blazin'.

As for the DVD's special features, they're nothing to really write home about. The band commentary is just Dan and Derek being strangely silent about the majority of the concert. Yup, you read that right, Matt's not even on the commentary track, so if you were looking for some lyrical insights you're turning to the wrong place. The Quint Split of "Mr. Chainsaw" [all five camera shots on the same screen at the same time] gets rather obnoxious, but the "choose your own angle" version of "Another Innocent Girl" is fun and makes you feel like you're really editing it yourself.

The DVD also contains some Behind The Scenes footage, which is too short and doesn't really show anything at all, besides some Halloween costumed attendees. There is also a photo gallery from the show on the DVD, but it's rather unexciting [except for the background music, which is the Trio's version of the Misfits' "Halloween" off their Halloween 7" they gave out at the show].

So basically, there's a once amazing but now rather decent live band being documented fairly well with good sound quality and multiple camera angles [as well as an excellent light show]. The biggest downfall with the DVD is the clumsiness of the special features that Kung Fu is touting so proudly. A worthwhile buy for fans, but if you only own one album [and it's Good Mourning, especially], don't bother.


People who liked this also liked:
Alkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Against Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyThe Lawrence Arms - Apathy and ExhaustionDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeJawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapyRefused - The Shape of Punk to Come

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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.
Anonymous (May 19, 2006)

"a once amazing but now rather decent live band "??!!

okay, his voice is a bit off, but with the exception of crawl, it really adds more emotion to the songs, radio and 97 especially. great setlist.

the great thing about this band is how they don't shy away from playing stuff from all times in their career (where as some bands tend to disown or ignore their earlier works).

ive seen trio live at their two most recent UK tours, and at last years Leeds fest, and they were excellent live all three times!

and more to the point... great DVD!!!

someone-yeah (May 4, 2006)

This is one of my barn burner DVDs.

warningdevice (December 13, 2005)

How can you sit there and honestly say that this isn't that great!? The set list was amazing! It wasn't tainted with anything from "Good Mourning", which lets fac eit, isn't the band's best effort. Derek as always was amazing, seeinghim play the band's older stuff makes me think of what it would sound like if they were to redo "I Lied My Face Off" or "Trouble Breathing". Personally, I love Skiba's backing vocals on "Crawl", it adds something to it, because its what they do live, not to mention the namedrop of Skankin Pickle during "Goodby Forever". So in short, fantastic setlist, great energy from the guys, and the comentary... keep hot doggin it Derek!

Anonymous (November 24, 2005)

you can't win http://www.casino-los-angeles.com/doliyoli/casino-directory-2005. html

Anonymous (February 25, 2004)

WHERE are the hidden easter eggs ??????????????/

Anonymous (February 25, 2004)

I was there that night. I got one of the 3000 7"s that were pressed with "Halloween" and "Children in Heat" Misfits covers. Best show in my life, but I can still can't find myself or anyone else I know who was there. Chicago punk rock forever! ALKALINE TRIO FOREVER!

Anonymous (February 25, 2004)

WHERE are the hidden easter eggs

Anonymous (January 29, 2004)

haha scott i like your way with words.

FashioningKnives (January 2, 2004)

press select and audio options

8dollarclarinetsolo (December 13, 2003)

yeah the song selection is awesome, i wished theyd play these songs when they come here.. what did you want to hear, stupid kid? how do i adjust audio tracks on a ps2?

Anonymous (October 3, 2003)

where's the commentary on the dvd? is it an easter egg?

Anonymous (August 9, 2003)

the song selections awesome scotty, hahahahhahahahaha. yeah

Anonymous (August 8, 2003)

this dvd is the shit, indeed. yes!!!

Anonymous (August 7, 2003)

metro is cool and the vic is alright and the riv would be a lot better if the security they had werent asshole.

Anonymous (August 4, 2003)

but i mean i think the Metro is better then the Riv and Vic, but like... the Fireside is jesus-like.

Anonymous (August 4, 2003)

yeah, i really dont like the Metro that much.... i mean have you ever been to the Fireside Bowl? That place is really fun.

jeff024punk (August 4, 2003)

i dont think their new cd is over-produced.. i think its just more technical.. listen to the drums closer on a good sound system.. it sounds just the same as there last cd.. its just more clear.. whats wrong with a good separation of sounds.. thats the best sound quality u can get.

Anonymous (August 3, 2003)

fuck you guys.

your bitching on how alkaline trios new album is over produced and now your bitching about how un-produced this dvd is.

Anonymous (August 3, 2003)

ahh my crappy record freind, the crappiness is an opinion which is subject to change at any given moment

why u soon may be a metal grr kid who puts shame to all music and listens to boring music (yes kung fu kickers, the formula is old but atleast there are some bands who step away from it)

1234go (August 2, 2003)

Did anyone else notice that the audio and the video are slightly out of synch? One you notice it gets really annoying

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

what the fuck does a magazine article have to do with how a record sounds...a crappy record is a crappy record, no matter how many articles are written about it. And furthermore...why the hell wouldn't they want a nice dvd with WORKING features? They seem to really want really nice gear and really nice video's and a really nice tour bus, so why not a dvd?

Katie4213 (August 1, 2003)

when good mourning came out i was pretty upset at what i had heard at first. but after reading several articles, espically in the june issue of illinois entertainer, i began listening to the album with a new outlook and a lot more respect. i think the trio has had an amazing ride over the past 7 years, and if you are a fan, you will support them. as for the dvd i have not seen it yet, but do you really think alkaline would ever want a glamorous dvd about them and thier band and fulffy commentary and interviews on tape? of course not.

Anonymous (August 1, 2003)

I'll take Mike Felumlee (Infirmary) and any of the Popes offerings over Derek Grant anyday.

fallingtopieces (July 31, 2003)


Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

that cover sucks.

good mourning sucks.

this band didn't used to suck

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

I'd sell my soul to see Lewis Black...although since he is both God and Satan, I'm sure he would give it back after the show.

FortyMinutesWest (July 31, 2003)

Lewis Black is god, consider the $145 a small price to pay for having your soul saved.

Kevin11 (July 31, 2003)

I just spent $145 on front row to Dave Attell, Lewis Black and Mitch Hedberg...while it's awesome...i'm poor now.

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

Although features do lack, it was great just to get ahold of the show finally.

And about video quality, I doubt they'd readily dish out thousands to hire people to run around in the crowd with $3,000 cameras when they did what they did (which I think is rather fucking cool). Instead, they asked around if anyone had the right type of camcorder and if they did, they were allowed to show up and just tape the show. Screw professional quality. If you wanted that, go watch some VH1 special.

Anonymous (July 31, 2003)

cant anyone just enjoy alkaline trio anymore?

maverick (July 30, 2003)

I am wicked old?

I don't quite follow.


Anonymous (July 30, 2003)

wow Scott you are wicked old

Anonymous (July 30, 2003)

quit covering bands that no one has heard of!

lieutenant (July 30, 2003)

As one of my favourite bands, of course I found this to be a very enjoyable watch. However, speaking objectively and less as a giddy mega-fan (which I can be), this DVD as a whole is very disappointing. The unability to select Commentary tracks from the menu is unnecessarily silly, while the special features are INCREDIBLY lacking. As I am not particularly a fan of Kung Fu, the few trailers were virtually useless to me as a viewer, while the Behind the Scenes was just pathetic... only a couple glimpses of the band while the camera pans around a club of goofy kids. I really would have loved to see a nice documentary style behind the scenes feature that provides more insight to the concert experience from the band... would not have to be very complicated or long either. But nope... We get nothing. As well, like I said, I'm a big Alk3 fan, so I had fun listening to the commentary, but really, nothing went on, and I must even admit it can really drag on at times. There were a lot of cool things during the show that I was hoping the guys would comment on while originally watching the show as a whole, but the focus was often irrevant to the set, making the feature seem more like a clip from a radio interview rather than a real video commentary like you get from actual movies. And I have no idea why Matt Skiba would not be included... It just does not make sense. Oh, and what's up with the video quality? Watch a DVD from the Dave Matthews Band or any large-scale group. It's perfect... Same quality as any film. This just looked like a nicely-shot bootleg. Overall, not that I have written more than anyone will read - Worth the money? For an Alkaline Trio fan like me, of course. But a good DVD as a whole? No.

Anonymous (July 30, 2003)

This band rocks... and I play drums and I dont get how you can say that Glen is a better drummer than Derek. Anyway I think Derek kicks ass, and was really good at the Skate and Surf fest. Heather is damn hot.. damn damn hot!


Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

i'll sit and listen to goddamnit or i lied my face off all day long and just tune in to glenn's drumming, which really made the band. the fills he threw in and just everything, perfectness. he had balls too. he was the backbone of the band, i keep saying this. i still love these fuckers, but their just not the same. oh well, i'm buying the dvd no second thoughts.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

A-freakin-men about the Glen Porter comment below. Glen can toast Derek any time of the week.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Alkaline Trio rocks because they are not from Canada.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

derek grant is the worst thing to happen to this band...the fact that the reviewer said he took a song into "fat wreck territory" says it all. He's fast and all, but he has no style, glenn was a better drummer by far, because he knew that a straight beat could be just as powerful as a crazy one.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Yeah, Heather the merch girl is sooooo hot.


TheOneTrueBill (July 29, 2003)

I gotta ask, what's wrong with the Metro?

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

derek is a fucking nut on the drums. listen to suicide machines destructon by definition and see my point.

Sciulli (July 29, 2003)

If Heather was the girl at the Warped Tour Alk tent last year, she was freaking hot.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

its heather, their merch chick who has been there forever. I guess they figured they owe it to her to be on the cover too. oh well.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I stand corrected...my store sucks.


eyeball_kid (July 29, 2003)

Is that extra bloke at the bottom of the cover there for a reason? I don't geddit.

Mikeshitter (July 29, 2003)

It's not all bad. The special features are shit, Matt's voice is appalling on several tracks, but apart from that, it's really well shot, the sound quality is great and Derek Grant rules all.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I liked everything but Matt's vocals, Dan's are really good.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

i bought this and this is the worst band dvd i've ever seen.

i didn't like one man army first, actually i disliked them alot but their dvd is fucking awesome and i like them alot now.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I'll probably check this out. Alk3 is good even though they sucked it up on Conana.

maverick (July 29, 2003)

the thing's already been shipped nationwide. My local record store had it last week.


Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

Matt has been quoted as answering the question "Would you ever do a live cd?" he answered: "Not if I can help it." Well, hmmm... dvd must not count.
away from home for once.

Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I think the official relase date for this was pushed back to August 5th. I was told tonight while the new release order for the record store I work for. We go through the biggest distribution company in the US and they are usally pretty dead on. I may be wrong though, but don't be surprised if it's not in stores on the 29th.


Anonymous (July 29, 2003)

I'd like to get this. I saw them just recently in Cincinnati and, although I had fun, they were pretty bad live. I'm willing to bet they were once awesome. Oh well, I still love The Alkaline Trio.


Sciulli (July 29, 2003)

I don't really care about anything extra, I'll just buy it to see the band play live.

when are the contest winners gonna be announced?

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