Alkaline Trio Play All Eight Studio Albums During Brooklyn ‘Past Live’ Shows
Let's start off by saying that for fans of Alkaline Trio, you don't just like them, you live and breathe them. Their catchy, passionate and poetic songs are all about the crap that everyone goes through in love, life and addiction, but don't want to talk about. They also actually care about their fans, and their recent sold-out 'Past Live' shows -- which were performed in Chicago, Los Angeles and Brooklyn -- are a clear cut example of that.
As exhausting as it must have been to relearn all of their albums front to back in rehearsals -- and to play each and every one of them over four nights, three times over -- the Trio are simply dedicated to their craft.
We were lucky enough to attend not one, not two, not three, but all four of their shows this past week at the Musical Hall of Williamsburg in New York City ... and believe it or not, we lived to tell the story.
Night One -- Oct. 21
The first night was probably the most nerve-racking night of them all. The anticipation had been building since the announcement of these shows a few months back as to what albums the band would play each night. Most people assumed at first, that they would be playing their albums in chronological order -- but we were all wrong. Alkaline Trio informed fans via Facebook that the album choices would be totally random, so everyone was in for a surprise.
Even so, everyone still expected the first two albums to be played at the first show, and when Trio opened up with their most recent record, 'My Shame Is True,' it almost seemed like they did it on purpose. Afterward, they totally redeemed themselves by busting into their debut record, 'Goddamnit' -- and the crowd went absolutely bonkers, crowd surfing like maniacs, dancing on stage and moshing like it was our last show ever. 'Goddamnit' was probably the best live album they did over the four nights; the crowd was into it and so was the band. They closed with 'Warbrain,' one of their b-sides on 'Remains,' which originally appeared on the 'Rock Against Bush, Vol. 1' compilation.
Night Two -- Oct. 22
The second night might have been the best of the residency; if you were in attendance, you would have seen the band first play 'This Addiction' from front to back. The band, and in particular frontmant Matt Skiba, already seemed exhausted by this point, with bassist and co-vocalist Dan Andriano barely being able to say "thanks" occasionally into the microphone. Asian Man Records owner and founder Mike Park, who was manning the merch table all four nights, provided the sax accompaniment for 'Lead Poisoning' -- the crowd went wild when he came out. Park put out Alkaline Trio's first two studio albums and their self-titled collection, and is a musician himself, currently in his own self-produced Bruce Lee Band.
When they wrapped up the album, Skiba introduced the next record by saying it was recorded 15 years ago with a thousand bucks -- 'Maybe I'll Catch Fire'. The crowd erupted into an intense mosh pit once again for the album's wild ride, which ended with the fan-favorite sing-along, 'Radio.' The encore was 'My Friend Peter' off of the band's self-titled compilation, originally from 'Magnetic Curses'.
Night Three -- Oct. 23
The third night opened like any other, with the lights dimming and 'Time In a Bottle' by Jim Croce playing over the speakers before the band entered stage left to thundering applause and cheers. Alkaline Trio tore into their fifth studio LP, 'Agony & Irony.' When they finished playing the album, they immediately went into one of their best, 'From Here to Infirmary'; this kept with the trend of playing one newer album and one older one each night. The encore was 'Hell Yes,' a 'From Here to Infirmary' b-side that should have made the album, but didn't, and instead landed on the 'Hell Yes' EP.
Night Four -- Oct. 24
The final night, the band's last hoorah in Williamsburg, gave the crowd 'Crimson' as the first album, arguably the band's most produced album in their catalog. It was amazingly well-performed in a live setting with the band not missing a beat. Even Skiba himself was impressed. "That's the first time we played that one perfectly this whole run," he told the crowd. The band went right into the only studio album left, 'Good Mourning,' which Andriano exhaustively introduced as being the last one they had to play not just for the week, but the overall 12-night run.
They gave it their all, even doing an electrical rendition of the beautiful acoustic track, 'Blue In the Face' -- and the crowd seemed pleased with the added amplification. There were beers flying all over while everyone sang, smiled and danced.
The band seemed -- rightfully so -- worn out by that point as Skiba told us to close our eyes and pretend that they had left the stage and came back for the encore.
They exploded with the very first song they ever wrote, ''97,' -- it was the only way to end four perfect nights of flawless live music.