Alkaline Trio / Bayside - live in Boston (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Alkaline Trio / Bayside

live in Boston (2013)

live show

There were interesting threads connecting the trio of bands on this particular tour, headlined by Alkaline Trio. Openers Off with Their Heads are labelmates, and carry vaguely similar emotional sentiments in their lyrical content, taking the Trio's gothic, occasionally parody-leaning imagery and stripping it down to straight-laced self-loathing. Meanwhile, direct supporters Bayside are arguably one of the biggest bands to take major influence from them and cultivate a sizeable fanbase out of it. That cohesion lent itself nicely to this show, and without making it too much of an overall homogenous presentation.

Off with Their Heads' sub-half-hour opening set was unsurprisingly void of frills or bullshit. The band walked on stage, swilled some beverages, and blasted through 11 of their barked, self-hating melodic punk songs. Highlights came early, with the standout off their recent record, Home, "Nightlife" (one of their best choruses to date), and following it with an old favorite, "I Am You." Banter was pretty minimal: They dedicated some songs to fellow bands ("Self Checkout" to MA's Dropkick Murphys; "Janie" to Bayside; "Drive" to Alkaline Trio) and that was roughly it. There were a few older gentlemen in the crowd that fingerpointed along individually, but pit action would cease until Bayside, really.

Set list (6:29-6:56):

  1. Start Walking
  2. Nightlife
  3. I Am You
  4. The Eyes of Death
  5. Self Checkout
  6. Don't Make Me Go
  7. Janie
  8. Stolen Away
  9. Fuck This, I'm Out
  10. Drive
  11. Clear the Air

Bayside went interestingly heavy on their self-titled record for their 44-minute set, sprinkling in their signature Smoking Popes cover (dedicated to the Trio, of course) and tracks from The Walking Wounded and Killing Time, skipping over 2008's Shudder completely. But it was hard to ignore the solid flow it gave the set, and the audience didn't seem to care all that much, faithfully yelling along and throwing their hands up at every note. What else was new, really? Their last album, Killing Time, really capitalized on the band's more aggressive/rock sound, and that was basically the flair this set had, save for moments like the stopped-dead-in-tracks waltz of second song "The Walking Wounded," and the comparatively balladic "Megan" cover.

Set list (7:20-8:04):
  1. Devotion and Desire
  2. The Walking Wounded
  3. Tortures of the Damned
  4. Sick, Sick, Sick
  5. Already Gone
  6. Seeing Sound
  7. Duality
  8. We'll Be O.K.
  9. Megan [Smoking Popes cover]
  10. Montauk
  11. Dear Tragedy

Outside of supporting a new album, I did wonder how Alkaline Trio could play a refreshing set here having seen them headline so many tours over the last few years. Thankfully, they answered my question by plucking out a bunch of semi-obscure tracks I'm not sure I've ever seen them play. After coming out to a Joy Division intro on the PA, they predictably jumped right into "She Lied to the FBI" (which sounded fine, honestly), but then followed it with "Hell Yes," later doing "Donner Party," "Trucks and Trains" and "Crawl" with a lyrical wink to the Lawrence Arms' "Porno and Snuff Films" ("Do you like, do you like, do you like my party tricks?" Dan Andriano asked during the breakdown). ("Cringe" got a Germs reference.) This was a deep cut-laden set list that was highly enjoyable to watch unfold, because you could never really tell what would be next.

The audience responded with the usual amount of adoration and cheering. I had thought maybe the Trio's fanbase had tailed off some in recent years, but I was dead wrong, as the House (of Blues) was packed out fairly well and its sound deafening with most singing along loudly and often. By the time the band finished "I Wanna Be a Warhol," Matt Skiba had proclaimed this to be the best show of the tour, a declaration that actually seemed fairly earnest. Even if he looked a little ridiculous showing off chest with a button-up shirt and a fedora hat on.

Set list (8:29-9:34):
  1. She Lied to the FBI
  2. Hell Yes
  3. Clavicle
  4. If We Never Go Inside
  5. Donner Party (All Night)
  6. I'm Only Here to Disappoint
  7. Olde English 800 [plugged-in]
  8. San Francisco
  9. I Wanna Be a Warhol
  10. Sadie
  11. Trucks and Trains
  12. Blue Carolina
  13. The Torture Doctor
  14. My Friend Peter
  15. Crawl
  16. Young Lovers
  17. This Could Be Love
    Encore (9:37-9:51):
  18. Cringe
  19. Radio
  20. '97