Alkaline Trio Salute Their Hometown Fans With Blistering Chicago Set

July 10th, 2008: As seen on Archive (PDF)

Though lead singer Matt Skiba suspected he was spat upon, and a few bass guitars putzed out on Dan Andriano, a hometown crowd pulled from all walks of Hot Topic-sponsored clientele never missed a cathartic chance to scream in sync as the Trio careened through an oeuvre-spanning, 18-song set at Chicago’s House of Blues last night (July 9).

Tattooed bleeding hearts hopped over rails from the get-go, turning newbie Agony & Irony album-opener, “Calling All Skeletons,” into a handclap-a-thon. While Skiba and crew angled their shred faces at the giant heart-and-skull banner shrouding the stage, turning to the masses just in time to share a lyric about how “fucked up and numb” we are.

Spanning songs from the indie-punk scrap of their 1998 debut, Goddamnit!, to present-day Epic refinement, the Trio whipped out rarities from b-sides (“Old School Reasons”) and Rock Against Bush compilations (“Warbrain”), meeting each tune with energy that simply wouldn’t quit. It didn’t matter how dark or obscure the material was — each fan knew every word to every tune, and punctuated it with balcony-façade palm slaps and pointed-finger salutes.

Still, absolute rockness honors could easily have been anointed twice – mid-set with From Here To Infirmary’s self-deprecating anthem “Armageddon,” and on the only ballad of the evening, “Radio,” with Skiba changing the plead-on-the knees chorus to “I’ve got a big fat fuckin’ bone to pick with you Chicago/In case you haven’t heard, I’m sick and tired of trying.” Your army of sad sacks are right with you, Alkaline.

“Calling All Skeletons”
“Nose Over Tail”
“I Lied My Face Off”
“I Found Away”
“In Vein”
“Hating Every Minute”
“Mercy Me”
“Old School Reasons”
“Private Eye”
“Do You Wanna Know”
“Goodbye Forever”
“This Is Getting Over You”
“Help Me”
“This Could Be Love”


We Asked: In Alkaline’s days of youth, the band would honor fans who took the ultimate step and tattooed themselves with the band’s insignia, the right to freely access any of their shows. What other band would you do that for today?