Alkaline Trio & Taking Back Sunday & w/ Destroy Boys @ 02 Academy Birmingham 05/03/2022

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Matt Higgs - From the London show

Taking to the stage on a co-headline tour, Taking Back Sunday and Alkaline Trio gave the UK a short and sweet, but much needed tour. Across Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Birmingham and London these three American bands gave us a non-stop night of bangers.

Having not been familiar with supporting band Destroy Boys and co-headliners Alkaline Trio gave a huge rush of excitement seeing them live – being introduced properly to two bands in a live environment is always such a joy. Being a regular 2000Trees attended, my extent of Alkaline Trio was only hearing them in passing. Seeing the huge turn out at the venue made me just that bit more excited to dive into their discography.

Opening for the likes of Taking Back Sunday and Alkaline Trio is something that surely carries a huge amount of pressure with it. Destroy Boys blew it out of the park. Having never heard their music aside from a super quick Spotify shuffle en route to the venue; when their set ended I was left wanting more. With a fierce and punchy attitude the punk rock band threw an incredible amount of energy into their performance. Kicking off the set with American River it was clear there was would be no signs of slowing down. Drink was a song that really stuck for me wanting to check them out further. Having a rough and riff heavy sound, while also having a bit of a dreamy summer vibe, totally caught me off guard. For a band so early into their career, they stood out as a supporting band that would be running huge headline tours in a matter of months.

With such a demand and turn out for the show, Taking Back Sunday came on a few minutes late to ensure everyone was in and ready. From the second they set foot on stage, it was hard to catch a moment where any of them didn’t have the biggest grins on their faces. It was such a wholesome feeling to see how humbled and excited they were to be back in the UK once again.

In a totally bias fashion, the highlight of the evening for me was finally seeing Taking Back Sunday loud and live for the first time in five years. They’re a band who will leave you without a voice or second to catch your breath, while also giving you jaw ache from grinning ear to ear. It’s damn near impossible not to be smiling seeing the Long Island rock band perform. Adam Lazzara, known for his iconic mic swinging skills did not disappoint (so many times throughout the set you’re left wincing with worry of where it might land.) Giving you barely a moment to breathe through the set, breaks were welcome with Lazzara taking time to introduce and show love to each and every band mate on stage.

Opening with What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost, it became obvious this was a show where the bands were here to make a lot of noise and get a crowd going. With being a TBS fan for such a long time, A Decade Under The Influence always feels like a song to bring out nostalgia in the masses. Hearing it again had me thinking of seeing them in 2017 and being so excited to have them back in the UK, while also singing my heart out as loud as possible on the chorus. The set had a perfect mix of old school and newer tracks. Even with a few of my favourites missing, words couldn’t describe the happiness of hearing the tracks live again. Tidal Wave sent a reinforced message that we were here to have fun, sing our hearts out and dance with everything we had. It wouldn’t be a Taking Back Sunday show without the iconic MakeDamnSure, a track that if you weren’t already on the brink of losing your voice, would push you just that bit closer.

After Taking Back Sunday, anything was going to be hard to follow for me, especially a band I wasn’t too familiar with. That being said, much like Destroy Boys I left the venue wanting to check out more of their music on and looking up when they’d next be playing live. For this last part of the show there was a definite mix of people wanting to get into the thick of it, and those that were content chilling at the back and taking in the music.

Opening track Private Eye immediately got me excited for what was going to be in store for the rest of the set. It felt like a track that gave a perfect introduction to the kind of music Alkaline Trio were about. Other tracks that stood out were Blackbird and I Wanna Be a Warhol, both tracks had a punchy enough rock sound while also maintaining a mellow vibe that was so easy to get drawn into and immerse in.

Overall this felt like such a perfect concert. All three bands blew it out of the park with high energy and incredible music.

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