New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio are two of the most dependable bands in the scene. For the past 15+ years, both groups have been consistently releasing good albums and touring the world. The two bands are currently on a co-headlining tour with support from H2O, another reliable act. New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio switch off closing the shows, and it was NFG who concluded the show at the House of Blues in Boston, MA on November 12.
There's a reason New Found Glory's new live album is titled Kill It Live. They're always energetic and fun without missing a beat. The band members proudly call Florida home, but Boston may as well be their home away from home. Guitarist Chad Gilbert addressed the crowd, "I have been waiting the entire tour to play Boston!" Before playing "Connect the Dots," one of three new tracks from Kill It Live, Gilbert said that it felt like a record release show, with all of their friends from Bridge Nine Records - the Boston-based label who put out the effort - in attendance. The band even induced a "Yankees suck!" chant from the rowdy audience.
Gilbert mentioned that Catalyst's 10th anniversary is on the horizon, so hopefully we get an album tour for that (as the band did for Sticks and Stones and New Found Glory). I was happy to hear two cuts from the often-neglected Coming Home - "It's Not Your Fault" and "Hold My Hand" - complete with accompanying keyboard. Fans finally seem to be coming around to the underappreciated effort. The band also performed two covers: Aerosmith's "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" (dedicated to "Boston's oldest hardcore band") and Sixpence None the Richer's "Kiss Me" (dedicated to Freddie Prinze Jr.).
I've seen New Found Glory live more than any other band in my lifetime - probably somewhere around 20 times now - but I think this was the first time I've seen them where they did not close with "Hit or Miss" or "My Friends Over You." Instead, "Hit or Miss" was smack-dab in the middle of the set, encouraging frontman Jordan Pundik to get on the barricade and sing along with fans. They pretended to close with "My Friends Over You," but they returned for a bipolar encore consisting of "The Story So Far" and "Intro."
Alkaline Trio's set was a tad shorter but equally impressive. Vocalist/guitarist Matt Skiba, vocalist/bassist Dan Andriano and drummer Derek Grant came out sporting their new branded varsity jackets (although Grant didn't keep his on long) - as were many of the audience members. They began with the blazing "Cringe," the opening track from their debut album, Goddamnit, and weaved their way through their expansive discography from there. With such a large back catalogue, you never know what you're going to get from the Trio, but they always mix it up.
I was happy to find that the band played nearly an entirely different set than when they came through back in May. This Addiction and Maybe I'll Catch Fire were unrepresented, but the band mixed newer material - including their latest single, "I Wanna Be A Warhol," which Skiba dedicated to Lou Reed - with older cuts. Skiba and Andriano tweaked some of the old songs to keep them fresh. Peppered throughout were a surprisingly high volume of B-sides, such as "Warbrain" and "My Standard Break From Life." They ended the set on a high note with a quartet of fan favorites: "I Lied My Face Off," "Another Innocent Girl," "This Could Be Love" and the closer, "My Friend Peter."
H2O kicked the night off with a short but sweet set. The hardcore/punk group is usually found tearing it up in small clubs, so it was a bit strange seeing them on such a large stage, but the band did not seem phased. If anything, it only added to their vigor. Vocalist Toby Morse remarked how excited they were to be touring with their longtime friends and playing for a largely new audience each night. There where, however, some small but vocal pockets of fans in the crowd.
The setlist drew heavily from 2008's Nothing to Prove while incorporating several older favorites. Chad Gilbert made a surprise appearance for "Guilty by Association" to sing along with Morse, who went onto the barricade to get closer to the crowd. Their set ended with "What Happened?," the studio version of which features Matt Skiba. I was hoping he would come out to sing his part, but alas he did not. Morse told the crowd that the band will be releasing a new album next year on Bridge Nine.
New Found Glory and Alkaline Trio's co-headlining tour is a proud display of the bands' staying power. The pair first toured together back in 1999 (alongside Face to Face and Saves the Day!). Although they've both grown a lot since then, they maintain the same youthful ferocity and passion. Along with H2O, the three groups have maintained their line-ups for years while continuing to satisfy their dedicated fan bases without any signs of slowing down, making this tour a great celebration of of unity and longevity.