As one of the most definitive punk bands of the early noughties, taking the genre to the mass mainstream, by the side of the likes of Blink 182 and The Offspring, Alkaline Trio have consistently reminded their fans exactly why they’re in such a notorious position, just without compromising what they want to play.
On previous tours the band have left audiences miffed by repeatedly missing out the tracks that arguably ‘made them’. For the first time (in the UK at least), the American band play as close to a greatest hits set as possible, spanning their near twenty year back catalogue. Opening with fan-favourite ‘This Could Be Love’, the band cover all their tracks and cater for everyone with alternative classics such as ‘Time To Waste’, ‘Stupid Kid’ and ‘Private Eye’. The setlist perfectly reminds everyone of one of the biggest attractions to the band in frontman Matt Skiba’s dark, emo influencing ‘lets drown our sorrows with a bottle of wine’ lyricism, adding an additional dimension to the performance.
Although new album My Shame is True was by no means their strongest outing and in places felt more like a b-sides album. On the live platform, Alkaline Trio bring the tracks to life. ‘She Lied to the FBI’ has the speed and punk rock grittiness of Propagandhi, while ‘Young Lovers’ has such an anthemic vibe it could have easily been an encore worthy song.
Alongside the slightly cringe-worthy onstage marriage proposal, some end of tour jitters are noticeable, as Skiba’s voice doesn’t quite muster up to expectations. Still, his impressive visual command and genuine enthusiasm to be playing more than makes up for it. Yet surprisingly Dan Adriano’s overwhelmingly powerful voice actually steals the show as he takes the limelight during four of the songs.
Ending on the lyrically perfect ‘Radio’ Skiba doesn’t need to sing at all, as the crowd make the very most of their last moments of such a brilliant, rough around the edges punk rock concert, screaming the words “I’ve got a big fat fu*king bone to pick with you my darling” until everyone’s lungs almost give out, leaving the venue saying how the trio played songs they didn’t think they’d ever see live.