Review by Kyra Nicole Sallans
Photos by Matthew Knapp
Wednesday night at the Bourbon was filled with longtime fans, recently born fans, and people that love to go to a good show and give their bodies a good beating while they’re at it. There is certainly something special about the punk genre that allows for such a variety of people to be drawn to its scene; from house shows at a $5 door fee to the $25 theater shows.
As Toby Morse of H2O quoted before their closing song, “Punk rock is your fuckin soul…it’s not a t-shirt. …punk rock is forever.” H2O was the opening act, coming onto the stage with an instant captivation of the audience.
Three songs into the set the band was getting the audience to mosh, and by song six, “One Life, One Chance,” Toby was hopping around in the crowd. Based out of New York, it was their first time in Lincoln but they made it feel as though everyone there was a part of their history. They played songs such as “1995” and “5 year plan,” ranging from their latest album in 2008 to their first album produced in 1996, respectively. After 19 years H2O still knows how to put on a good show, even for someone who has never come across them before. They are genuine jammers who have sold their souls to the spirit of punk.
It was a significant shift in energy from the opening act to Alkaline Trio. The stage started off completely dark with the exception of a few purple accent lights and three lit candles on both sides of the stage.
A somewhat mystic rhythm began to play off stage, and then the sound of sliding a pic down the strings of the guitar. Their set mainly consisted of songs like “Sadie,” “Time to Waste,” “Skeletons,” and “Warhol,” coming from albums Agony and Irony, Crimson, and their band name album Alkaline Trio. They entered playing “Take Lots With Alcohol” which seemed to be pretty accurate lead into the performance. The technical sound alone was so muddied that unless you had heard their music before, you probably wouldn’t be able to distinguish one instrument to the next.
Overall their performance was not very impressive and lacked the momentum to keep my attention, at least. And this is coming from a longtime fan. Bass player Dan Adriano was clearly intoxicated to the point where he thought he sounded good, at least. For a house show performance it would have been fine, but Alkaline Trio was not up to par with the other bands of the night.
When New Found Glory took over the stage it was a breath of fresh air.
Similar to H2O, they had a friendly and passionate appearance with sharp, succinct sound. Bass levels were perfect, vocals were audible, and their performance was top notch. As lead guitarist Chad Gilbert said, “Live shows are the only reason why we ever wanted to be in a band.” After Wednesday’s show, I’d say that’s certainly prevalent. As a first time audience member of New Found Glory I couldn’t help moving with them. All members were incredibly in sync with one another in their movements and dynamics, something rare even among the best of bands. They played a lot of newer pieces which I would compare as having a sound similar to JV Allstars. Wednesday night audience members got the treat of hearing a new song of theirs called “Connect the Dots,” which was very melodic and dynamic. After the encore they met with their fans at the merch table to sign their live album. New Found Glory and H2O are certainly great examples of longtime bands that, as they say, “still got it.”