Alkaline Trio rocked Pops on July 31 with a killer tour-ending show

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Alkaline Trio

From their humble beginnings in Chicago to headlining sold-out tours across the country, Alkaline Trio has come a long way in the past eight years. It was in Sauget, Ill., at Pop’s, that Alkaline Trio ended their summer tour with a bang.

After two opening bands, Alkaline Trio entered the stage to the eerie piano intro of “Time to Waste,” the first track off their new album Crimson. The sea of black-clad, rabid fans immediately began to scream along to the sinister lyrics as if they were their own, and they didn’t stop until the band left the stage. The thing about Alkaline Trio fans that makes the crowd so fierce is that each one thinks he or she is the biggest Alkaline Trio fan in the world.

After playing a slew of songs off Crimson, the band ripped into their lengthy back catalogue of songs. One of the hardest working bands in punk and indie music, Alkaline Trio has had a new release every year, giving them a large pool of songs to choose from when performing live. Songs from every album made it onto the set list. Even a non-album track, “Jaked on Green Beers,” was played, to the delight of the obsessive fans.

The main attraction of Alkaline Trio is their lyrics. Guitarist Matt Skiba and bassist Dan Andriano split song-writing duties, and both are exceptional. The lyrics are almost all about girls, but not like Blink-182 songs about girls. Alkaline Trio’s emotional lyrics are beautifully brutal poetry. One can’t help but feel sorry for the ex-girlfriends of the Alkaline Trio boys. One of the highlights from their set, “Crawl,” contains the wonderful line, “Never had a drink that I didn’t like/ Got a taste of you/ Threw up all night.”

The band sounded great live, improvising on a few old favorites and pumping life into the new songs, especially “Prevent This Tragedy,” which suffered on the album due to producer Jerry Finn’s distancing production.

For the encore, the band called out Mike Park, who opened for them and who also owns Asian Man Records (which was Alkaline Trio’s first label), to join them for an electric version of “Sorry About That,” off their first album, Goddamnit

Despite all the macabre lyrics, everyone left Pop’s that night with a smile.

Nick Selm is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences