Six Alkaline Trio Songs That Should Be Played Live (But Probably Won't Be)
Every band has "hits," the songs they have to play in concert or no one will pay money to see them. Alkaline Trio is no different.
Thanks to nine studio albums, including My Shame is True (released today), singer/guitarist Matt Skiba, singer/bassist Dan Andriano and drummer Derek Grant have a plethora of tunes that are damn-near guaranteed to make any set list, which means there's a good chance you'll hear "Radio," "Nose Over Tail," "Clavicle," "'97," "This Could Be Love," "Mercy Me," "Crawl," "Cringe" and "Bleeder." While there's nothing wrong with these (in fact, they are some of the band's best material), there are also a bunch of songs that rarely -- if ever -- get played. But they should.
There's no way of knowing what we'll hear from My Shame is True, but "Kiss You to Death," "Young Lovers" and "Until Death Do Us Part" are bona fide awesome and are worthy of replacing the oft-played "She Took Him to the Lake" and "Private Eye." And, if we are lucky, the addition of new material might force the band to dig into its catalog to pull out a few oldies-but-goodies.
So, here, in no particular order, are six songs that should be added to the band's set list when they kick off their upcoming tour at The Observatory on April 25.
6. Fine Without You
If Youtube videos mean anything, then this three-minute-and-sixteen-second song taken from a split with One Man Army has been played live only once, which is a bummer because it's easily one of the band's best. In the video, Skiba describes the tune as being "about my addiction to opiates," but the lyrics seem to be about a tumultuous break up. On one hand, the narrator is depressed and has "nothing here but loneliness," which leads to putting "holes in walls" that cause "bleeding fists." On the other, we hear a narrator who is in love, who would "kill for you and eat the flesh/give you the heart and burn the rest."
Then, we discover this love hasn't gone away as the narrator says "a thousand miles ain't shit to walk if I'm walking to hold you." But the really great part about this song is the chorus, in which Skiba repeats the line "I'll be just fine without you" three times before adding, "I'll be here telling myself it's true." Go through a break up, drive around by yourself at night with this one on the iPod and tell me you don't sing along as the narrator struggles to move forward while his or her heart is planted firmly in the recent past.
5. Hell Yes
First off, there should be lots more musical tributes to Anton LaVey and the Church of Satan. That reason aside, this song summarizes everything Alkaline Trio is about. The tune begins with Skiba's undistorted guitar, then gets loud when the bass and drums kick in. The verses are muted, the choruses explode and the melody is so catchy your mom might start humming along -- until she realizes Skiba is singing, "Bless me dark father I have sinned/I've done it before and I'll do it again/Cuz it keeps me warm and makes you smile/Been beneath me all the while/hell yes." This song gets played live occasionally, but it's not an absolute -- although it should be.