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Review: Alkaline Trio Debut New Songs To Welcoming Ears

By Katie Karpowicz in Arts & Entertainment on May 31, 2013 8:40PM

Rock fans, those of the punk and alternative strain especially, are funny. We only like the "old stuff." Even if a band comes out with a great new song late in their career, if it's not at least five years old fans aren't havin' it. So, we were a little nervous as to how the crowd of the first show of a sold out two-night residency at the Metro would react to songs off Alkaline Trio's latest album My Shame Is True—albeit the fact that it's the band's most solid release in years and just an all-around good listen.

Turns out everyone was pleased as peaches with the setlist. Only the strongest of songs from the band's new album—"I Am Only Here To Disappoint," "She Lied To The FBI"—made the cut. Tim McIlrath of Rise Against even made it out to contribute his vocals parts on "I, Pessimist."

Predictably the crowd reaction wasn't as great for songs like "I Wanna Be A Warhol" as it was for early career gems like "Clavicle," but they weren't visibly groaning over new songs either. If anything, it was just the difference in having a month to learn the My Shame Is True songs as opposed to 10+ years with the Goddammit selections. We had no problem getting into that "Hey!...Ho!" chorus on "The Torture Doctor."

As for the "old stuff," the great thing about the Trio is that their song catalogue is now so extensive that there really is no such thing as a standard Alkaline Trio set. However, we can't say we've heard so many tracks off their self-titled early EP compilation album played together in a long while. Thumbs up for "Cooking Wine," "'97" and a last minute change in the final song from "Radio" to "My Friend Peter." (Skiba's words: "How many damn times do we have to play 'Radio'? Let's play 'My Friend Peter'?)

Alkaline Trio might not be the most commercially successful band to ever come out of Chicago, but having watched the band struggle in the face of an aging scene, fickle fans and harsh critics only to come out stronger than ever, it makes this writer darn proud to share a city with them. If you were lucky enough to score tickets to night two tonight, you're just darn lucky to share a room with them.