Sunday 27th April 2014 – Alkaline Trio w/ Bayside at Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

In the early to mid 2010’s I’d landed upon a renewed interest in some of the punk rock bands whose existence had predated me getting into the genre ten years earlier. I think this was in part due to playing in a ‘punk’ band again, accessibility of their music was probably a huge factor too, both distribution and affordability wise. I was still buying CDs at this point, but having entire discographies at the click of a button via Spotify was a big help for new, and old, music discovery.

One album I bought in this era was Alkaline Trio’s eight studio album My Shame Is True. I’d picked up the previous album too, 2010’s This Addiction (to date, only the second of their albums I’d actually owned) and had got back into the band so much I followed up with 2018’s Is This Thing Cursed? as well. If you like the band’s earlier material but haven’t dug into their past decade of output, I really recommend it, there’s some great stuff. 2013’s My Shame Is True might be my favourite, producers Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore at the legendary Blasting Room Studios really drew out a perfect sound for Alkaline Trio (and almost every other punk band they work with).

At the time of this show I was staying back at home with my parents between living with my friend Stu and buying my first house with Sam. It would have taken a bit of effort to get up off my arse and drive up to to Portsmouth on a Sunday night before work the next day. It might not sound like much, but it really is a measure of how much I wanted to see a show in those days. Other than having seen Alkaline Trio a handful of times at festivals over the years, this was only the second time I’d paid for a headline show (the first was 9 years earlier in 2005 on the Crimson touring cycle).

The support for this show was Bayside. I remember being pleased with this. I’ve never taken much of a dive into their back catalogue, but I had a good frame of reference for them from their appearances on the annual Warped Tour compilations I used to buy and their band bromance with one of my favourites, Punchline (frontman Anthony Raneri has featured on multiple songs of theirs).

Despite being well onboard the Alk3 fan train, the most memorable part of this gig was seeing something I’d never witnessed at a gig in the ten plus years prior to this, or since. A marriage proposal. You wouldn’t know it from my naff iPhone camera photos, but she said “yes”.

Along with other shows scheduled to be at Portsmouth Pyramids in early 2014, this one was moved due to flooding at the venue. We all crammed into the Wedgewood Rooms instead. Lovely stuff.

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