Screaming at the top of my lungs four nights in a row, dripping sweat, bleeding passion … Eight albums, three guys, three-hundred brothers and sisters paying their respects … Alkaline Trio gave us a work-week worthy of endless praise. They were the house band each night at The Social. It couldn’t have been more perfect.
My friend Garrett and I walked into the first night about half-way through the first album of the residency, My Shame Is True, which is Alkaline Trio’s most recent album, released in 2013, almost 20 years after their first release, Goddamnit. The first and last albums were performed in their entirety the first night.
The second night, they performed their second newest and second oldest records, This Addiction and Maybe I’ll Catch Fire respectively. The third, they play their third newest and oldest, Agony & Irony and From Here to Infirmary (my personal favorite), and the fourth night, they performed, you guessed it, their fourth newest and oldest, Crimson and Good Mourning, which was a bittersweet ending, sealed with a bloody, smiling kiss.
One of our staff writers, Jordan Shroyer, wrote this personal reflection about night 1:
As I write this a week later I still feel like I’m recovering from the first night. The die hard fan favorite Goddammit was on the agenda. That is what I would consider the best opening album of the week, My Shame Is True.
For a sold out show, it seemed pretty under sold which was great. We were able to comfortably walk around, go from the floor to the bar, chat with friends on either side of the venue, and browse the merch area.
Dikembe opened this one and got by far the best crowd reaction of any openers though out the week. Probably the most fitting band of the four.
Alkaline Trio was prompt, going on at 9:30. The crowd was at a lull, but attentive and moderately engaged as they played through My Shame Is True tracks like “She Liked To The FBI.” On “I, Pessimist,” drummer Derek Grant took the lead vocals during the choruses, and sounded damn good.
I was happy to finally hear “Young Lovers” live, my favorite Trio song of the last, oh… I don’t know… 10 years? Great tune.
It’s pretty common for the average Alkaline Trio show goer to drink an above average amount of alcohol. You think we would have paced ourselves knowing there was to be four nights of this, but I’m pretty sure everyone went as hard as they could on night one. Maybe more than they would on any of the following nights. I know that was the case for me. The second I heard the first chord of “Cringe” I knew the night was going to be one to remember, or maybe forget. The whole floor went from solemnly observing to throwing their arms over the shoulder of their neighbor and screaming “Wide eyed, knee deep in surprise” at the top of their lungs, all just a few feet away from Mr Skiba himself yelling it back at us. It is a pretty small room. They blew through Goddammit in what felt like the length of a song.
One the the best parts of each evening was the encore which always consisted of a great Trio B-side. One of the most disappointing parts of each evening was the encore, when the ONLY PLAYED ONE SONG. Because two full albums a night for four nights just wasn’t enough. But like, for real. Every single night I wanted more. The first evening’s encore was “My Friend Peter.” It was a lively way to end the nights. And we left knowing we only had three more to go.
I sweat and screamed next to Jordan and Garrett each night. We found each other arm-in-arm like brothers screaming our drunken war chants into the night. Night 3 was the one I was especially looking forward to. I fell head-over-heels in love with Alkaline Trio over From Here to Infirmary. When the first notes bled through the speakers, I lost my shit. The entire room was moving and I felt like I was at the center of it all. Don’t mind my screams below. 🙂
“I drag this lake, looking for corpses, dusting for prints, brought up the floor boards … pieces of planes and black-box recorders don’t lie (don’t lie).”
One of our staff photographers, Adam Fricke, wrote this about shooting night 4:
I attended the final night of Alkaline Trio’s four-night residency and when I was offered a photo pass to cover this show I didn’t have to think twice. But The Social is a tough place to shoot for a photographer, mainly because there’s no defined photo pit. You blend in with the crowd and tend to get knocked around while trying to capture that perfect moment of an artist that hasn’t allowed a photographer into one of their shows for this tour yet.
Are you sweating with nervousness? Hell, I was. Or maybe I was sweating with excitement due to the fact that I was about ten feet from Matt Skiba. Or maybe it was just the sweat from my compatriots that made its way onto my camera gear. Whoever’s sweat it was, it was abundant. And I had Mitch and Garrett fending off elbows and knees for me as I tried to get a few shots amongst the chaos, and for that I am grateful.
Each night, I walked in either right before they began or a few songs in. There was enough room to grab a drink at the bar, pass out hugs to my friends and favorites, and squeeze my way into the pit, cozying up to Dan Andriano, Matt Skiba, and Derek Grant. When zoomed in, the experience was humbling, laid back, and nostalgic. When zoomed out, my hairs raise at the realization that Alkaline Trio played eight albums for about 300 people and I was one of them. Hell Yes!
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