As the singer of No Trigger, I have seen every No Trigger performance ever. Every single one. The only other person in the world who can say the same thing is Jon Strader, since he plays guitar and has not stepped down or been replaced or missed a show either since 2002. We have played some really great shows over the last 10 or so years but 2012 was pretty insane. We finally released our second full-length album “Tycoon” on No Sleep Records in February, and because of this we were able to do some touring again and play in some pretty rad places. Overall we didn’t play too many shows this year, only about 30 all told, but the shows we did play were some of the best ones ever for us. BELOW ARE MY TOP SIX FAVORITE NO TRIGGER SHOWS OF 2012:
6) WORCESTER, MA (3/9/12) @ Ralph’s Diner w/ Great Lakes, Save Ends, and Pro Re Nata
This show was just awesome. It was our first time playing in our hometown in 2-3 years and to top it off, it was our Tycoon CD release show. And to top that off, it was also filmed for the SJC Drums Reality TV show. All of the bands that opened the show were our friends, and all of our families and closest friends came out and supported us and packed the place. People were completely drunk by 10pm, and we went on at 12:30am and played one of our longest sets ever. What a night!
5) KINGSTON (LONDON), UNITED KINGDOM (5/31/12) @ The Fighting Cocks w/ Heartsounds
Man, do I love the UK. And man do I love Heartsounds. We went on a three week tour of Europe/UK this May and June with Heartsounds and it was phenomenal. It had been about 5 years since we last played the UK (the last time was with Set Your Goals in 2007) so I was extremely excited to come back. The first shows we played in the UK this year were in Leeds and London and were part of the annual Slam Dunk Festival. All of the bands playing these shows seemed bigger than life and it felt like a mini warped tour, and most of them were bands that I felt we had little in common with. Our style of punk/hardcore seemed to have a hard time fitting in with bands like Of Mice and Men, Mayday Parade, and The Word Alive, but there were still a handful of really cool bands like Make Do and Mend and Heartsounds and The Story So Far who killed it and played on the same stage as us so it ended up being a pretty cool experience. Once we were done with Slamdunk all of the other UK shows were phenomenal, especially Kingston. Kingston is just outside London and the show there was one of the hottest I’ve ever played (not just because I wore a sweatshirt for the first few songs). The 100-150 kids who packed into the Fighting Cocks that night sang every word and went absolutely crazy on us. It was such a rad way to round out our UK tour and was one of the best UK shows we ever played.
4) BOSTON, MA (9/7/12) @ The Paradise w/ Hot Water Music and Transit
Need I say more? We played with Hot Water Music. In Boston! After this show, I crossed the last “dream band” off my list that I always wanted to share a stage with (as long as you count us playing Groezrock in Belgium last year as No Trigger sharing the stage with the Descendents, which I do!) And even though we opened up the show super early (7pm!) it could not have gone any better. This was easily one of my favorite shows ever.
3) TOKYO, JAPAN (11/9/12) @ Antiknock w/ Cleave and After Tonight
Five years ago in the winter of 2007 we went to Japan for the first time as the support band for Strike Anywhere and played 4 sold-out shows. The first one was in Osaka and the other three were at the same venue in Tokyo, three nights in a row. Those shows were awesome and the hospitality was awesome, but it was over in a flash. This time around in November, No Trigger headlined all of the shows and it was one of the coolest tours ever. Mizuki at Ice Grills set the whole tour up and sorted out every detail. We played 5 shows this time and we got to travel as far south as Fukuoka, which if you Google it is super southern Japan. We played most of the shows with After Tonight who were awesome every night, and on our final show of the tour we also got to share the stage with Cleave in Tokyo. This was the last show we played in 2012, and it could not have been a better way to close out the year. Cleave DESTROYED right before we went on and it made me nervous that they might have been TOO good and should have gone on after us. But we took the stage and the 200 or so kids went completely nuts and it ended up being one of the coolest shows ever. I remember calling out the last song of our encore and thanking the dudes in my band for an amazing year and as soon as the first note hit I was overcome by this sense of euphoria that does not happen often. I just looked out in the crowd and saw all of these kids who came out to see us on a Friday night on the other side of the world singing along to old songs and to songs that we had just put out this year and it made me feel so unbelievably grounded and genuinely happy. That feeling is as fleeting as they get nowadays (to me at least) but I will never ever forget the feeling that this show gave me.
2) GAINESVILLE, FL (10/26/12) @ The Fest w/ Anti-Flag, Polar Bear Club, and Make Do and Mend
Gainesville really has become our home away from home. This year marked the 5th year that No Trigger has played The Fest and it also marked my 7th year (in a row) as an attendee. Tony has always hooked us up every year that we have played but this year he must have messed up because he gave us the best possible time slot at the biggest venue. We played Friday night at 10:30pm right in between Make Do and Mend and Polar Bear Club at the Florida Theater. This was easily the biggest show we played all year as far as attendees go, with at least 1000 or so people in the crowd (give or take). Since it was the first night of Fest, everyone was super fired up (and completely wasted) and the show couldn’t have been any funner. People from all over the world come to the Fest every year to see the bands and get drunk and go wild for 3 days, but it also serves as punk’s biggest family reunion since basically every band in the genre plays. It is consistently the best weekend of my year, every year, and 2012 was easily my favorite Fest yet. Here is an awesome video of the entire first 25 min of our FEST SET this year.
1) LODI, ITALY (6/7/12) @ Associazione Clam w/ Heartsounds
I just don’t know what it was about this show. Sometimes I think you just play a show where every little thing clicks. Sometimes I think you play a show where you are fully taken off guard by the response you get and the level of heart and passion you feel from the people in the crowd. We have played Italy a few times in the past, two shows in in 2007 and once more in 2011, and every time we play Italy it is great. But this time was something special. When we pulled up to the venue it looked like an abandoned lot with an abandoned building on it. We got there around 6pm (which was two hours later than “load in” due to a long drive from France that day) and there were just a few people milling around, including the promoter. He was not mad that we were so late but instead he was super excited for our soundcheck and he showed us where the beer and snacks were and he helped us load our gear out of the van. When it came time for doors to open, it didn’t seem like the show would be well attended as there were not many people around and the room and stage suddenly seemed a bit too big for what I thought was going to be a meager show at best. But then everything changed. As if it was planned, hoards of kids just appeared out of nowhere and started piling into the venue. By the time Heartsounds went on, the place was PACKED and kids were eating everything up that Heartsounds was dishing out. And then we took the stage and the level of enthusiasm that these Italians exerted was unlike anything I have ever seen. Kids were hanging from the rafters and calling out request after request and just giving everything they had, and we gave it right back (here is a video of us playing ‘Dried Piss’ that night). By the time we finished playing it was probably midnight, and by the time we were fully loaded out and ready to leave it was easily 2am, and everyone from the show was still hanging around talking to us, drinking Peroni, drunk-driving their scooters in circles, and just being awesome. And it was a Wednesday night! Even though it wasn’t the biggest show or even the most rowdy show of 2012, the love that these kids gave us all around made this my favorite show of 2012.