Alkaline Trio at the Pyramids, Southsea

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They may be looking a little old and bald, but that didn’t stop American punks Alkaline Trio taking the Pyramids by storm on the first night of a UK tour to mark 15 years in the business.

It began with a wobble as Dan Andriano’s bass guitar cut out during the first song, We’ve Had Enough. But the trio showed their experience, keeping the drums going along with some good old crowd interaction while a roadie quickly fixed the problem.

What followed was 90 minutes of some of the best rip-roaring rock music to be made in the last decade. They rolled through a career-spanning repertoire which had fans crammed into a sweaty mosh pit singing along at the top of their voices.

But what is refreshing about this anniversary tour is the band don’t feel the need to just run through all their chart releases – leaving out their biggest hit, Stupid Kid, and instead playing B-sides, early songs and album tracks.

Though labelled pop-punk, Alkaline Trio have always stood apart from bands like Blink 182 with their darker, subversive lyrics. They owe more to bands like The Damned, The Misfits and The Cure.

Guitarist Matt Skiba’s spiky, raspy vocals were perfectly balanced by Andriano’s melancholy tone and drummer, Derek Grant, was sensational, showing-off his age-defying energy.

MICHAEL POWELL