Marquee Theatre, Tempe
Sunday, April 28, 2013
I've got a big, fat fucking bone to pick with you, Alkaline Trio. In case you haven't heard, I'm sick and tired of waiting to hear "Radio." I wish you would have swapped some new songs for "Nose Over Tail," "Clavicle," and all of Goddamnit. Wait, that tour already happened -- but Maybe I'll Catch Fire and/or From Here to Infirmary would have done nicely.
There's no way a band that has released eight albums can please everyone. Consensus seems to be that the band's first few albums were the best, with the two records preceding My Shame Is True being the worst. Fortunately, the goth pop-punkers stuck to some of its best material, even if the band flubbed the lyrics.
Yeah, that was awkward. That's my main bone to pick with you, Matt Skiba.
The singer and guitarist missed about half of a verse in "Donner Party," and "San Francisco" was a little sloppy, but what else would you expect from a song with the chorus "I was drinking you goodbye"?
"Sometimes these songs take me back to writing lyrics on a cocktail napkin at SFO and the lyrics escape you, in a good way," Skiba explained after playing the song.
As the singer kept pointing to the same person in the crowd, who may have been Heather Gabel (he gave her a shout-out after "Sadie"), we couldn't help wondering whether he was actually trying to drink someone goodbye. In our recent interview, Skiba said that writing My Shame Is True was a cathartic process dealing with a recent breakup. At any rate, Matt Skiba looked pretty drunk, and it straddled the border between entertaining and worrisome.
Before introducing "Trucks and Trains" -- a song that Alkaline Trio has never performed in Arizona -- Skiba got booed for asking "Who wants the funk?" He told some bad jokes, too -- "Why does Fonzie always say 'Ayyy?' Because [Happy Days] was on ABC. If it was on NBC, he would have said, 'nnnnn.'"
And then there was the cell phone incident. After "Mr. Chainsaw," singer/bassist Dan Andriano found a Motorola cell phone at his feet and tried to find the owner before giving some impromptu tech advice.
"We're doing you a favor, you should get an iPhone. I don't know how this shit works," said Skiba. Andriano pointed out the "doofus" who lost his phone and threatened to throw the phone in the crowd, to which Skiba replied, "Dan doesn't care about you guys." The guy behind me summed the situation up perfectly with an annoyed, "Fuckin' Alkaline Trio."
Andriano slipped a Lawrence Arms lyric into "Crawl," replacing "I don't know who your boyfriend is" with "do you like my party tricks" from "Porno and Snuff Films." After "Dine, Dine My Darling" Skiba gave Andriano a big hug and a kiss on the forehead.
Partway through the encore, Skiba showed a bottle of Jameson to the crowd and made the motion of "pouring one out for his homies" without an explanation, then he took a swig and introduced "'97," the first song the band wrote. Unless you were drunk yourself (and there were plenty of folks who fit that description), the show was kind of a mess.
One of my friends said it was the most disappointing Alkaline Trio show she has ever seen -- and it was her 35th time seeing the band, so that says a lot. I personally agree with her comment -- if it was someone's first or second Alkaline Trio show, I'm sure they had fun, but this was also the worst show I've seen from the band, though Alkaline Trio's worst show is still better than some bands' best shows.
Most of the songs were on the slow side, which made "Mr. Chainsaw" very satisfying. "Sadie" and "San Francisco" were also fun, and I'm glad fans are getting into My Shame Is True, even though the album is only about a month old.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Setlist: She Lied to the FBI
I Wanna Be a Warhol
All on Black
If We Never Go Inside
Donner Party (All Night)
I'm Only Here to Disappoint
Olde English 800
The Temptation of St. Anthony
Trucks and Trains
The Torture Doctor
Dine, Dine My Darling
This Could Be Love
Critic's Notebook: Last Night: Alkaline Trio at Marquee Theatre. Personal Bias: I've only missed a show or two since Alkaline Trio released Good Mourning. Overheard in the Crowd: "If they didn't play 'Cringe' and ''97' as an encore, I probably would have hated it." Random Notebook Dump: I wonder how many people are going to lurk outside Denny's hoping to run into Matt Skiba after he invited the audience to join him for food later. Wish They Woulda Played: Warbrain, Queen of Pain, Armageddon, Private Eye, Southern Rock, Nose Over Tail, Message From Kathlene, You've Got So Far To Go...okay, I'll just go sulk and watch the Alkaline Trio Halloween live DVD.