Alkaline Trio’s discography spans almost 20 years and eight studio albums. In 2014 they went to three different cities and over four nights played all eight albums. In 2015 they extended the tour, Past Live, to eight more cities. Lucky for us Central Florida fans, they chose Orlando and spent four sold out nights at The Social. It’s rare you see bands try to pull something off like this, Coheed and Cambria being the most recent in memory with their 2008 Neverender tour.
Instead of playing the albums in order, every night they played from each end of their discography. Albums 8 and 1, 7 and 2, etc. With the evolution of their albums over the years, they’ve collected a very diverse group of fans but I’ve noticed that their concerts tend to draw an older crowd. A fair amount of younger people didn’t seem to know their older stuff quite as well. I even spoke to someone in line on the first night who was worried she wouldn’t know their first couple of albums.
Night One: My Shame is True (#8) and Goddammit (#1)
If you listen to Alkaline Trio’s albums in order you can really hear how they’ve evolved and matured over the years. But nothing truly hits that point home until you hear their most recent and their first album back-to-back. Goddammit was one of the albums I’d been most excited about hearing live. It’s also the one that I’d been most worried about. All these years later would the band be able to recapture the raw energy that made the first album so great? The answer is yes.
My Shame is True came to an end with its final song, “Until Death Do Us Part” and the band didn’t waste any time going into the next album. The moment Matt Skiba retuned his guitar, you could feel the energy of the crowd shift. “Cringe” kicked off Goddammit like a punch in the face. I don’t remember the last time I saw a crowd erupt so quickly like that. It was 1998 again and the pit moshed and sang like they were at an old punk show.
Night Two: This Addiction (#7) and Maybe I’ll Catch Fire (#2)
This was another night you could really see the differences of the fans in the crowd. This Addition is a little closer in style to their first couple albums but when Maybe I’ll Catch Fire started, the crowd blew up and they were back in 2000. “Radio” was easily one of the highlights of the night and judging by the crowd’s reaction, everyone else felt the same way.
Night Three: Agony & Irony (#6) and From Here to Infirmary (#3)
This was the night that seemed to blur the lines between old and new fans. “Calling All Skeletons” kicked off the show with a bang and the rest of Agony & Irony played great. From Here to Infirmary was more mainstream than their first two albums and definitely goes into more pop/punk territory. So when “Private Eye” started, it put Goddammit’s eruption to shame, uniting fans old and new with some of the most moshing and crowd surfing of any night.
Night Four: Crimson (#5) and Good Mourning (#4)
Clocking in at 26 songs, this was the longest night of the tour. And while I love both of these albums, myself and everyone who had been there the entire time were feeling it. But despite the exhaustion, the final night was a blast, “Mercy Me” and “This Could Be Love” were certainly among the highlights. One of my questions going into these shows was if and what they would do for encores. Each night they picked something off of one of their compilations that weren’t on the studio albums. And for the final night the went with “’97.”
After four nights and almost 100 Alkaline Trio songs, I’m exhausted, everything hurts, my voice is shot, and I’m pretty sure it’s gotten me sick. But damn, was it worth it.