7 Seconds / Alkaline Trio / the Briggs - live in Chicago (Cover Artwork)

7 Seconds / Alkaline Trio / the Briggs

live in Chicago (2005)

live show

The argument has been leveled against Kevin Seconds and his band of merry men is that 7 Seconds should hang it up. These people would argue that the heyday of 7 Seconds1 is over and that Mr. Seconds and Co. should pass the proverbial torch, and gracefully bow out of the hardcore scene. Their performance at the Metro with Voice In The Wire and labelmates the Briggs blasts those fuckers out of the water.

The first performance of the night was Voice In The Wire, a group on New Jersey's Eyeball Records who started the growing crowd off with a meaty slab of enjoyable punk. No prefixes or suffixes needed; it was simply entertaining and fun. The vocals of singer Zach Furnace remained clear and gruff, no matter the subject, ranging from his city Pittsburgh to working class pride - "this one is dedicated to everyone who hates their jobs" - and played off well against the solid drumming and guitar work.

Next up, the Briggs raised my eyebrows. Their live set was good, energetic, and commendable, but street punk and Oi! is a terribly restrictive genre, and there's a fine line between wearing your influences on your sleeves and ripping off someone else's work. So, if you've heard the Casualties, you've heard the Briggs; if you've heard the Unseen, you've heard the Briggs, etc. True, they have a nautical theme, and their live show is infectiously good. If you're into street punk, the Briggs should scamper the rigging to the top of your list. If not, they're worth sitting through.

I say this as an Alkaline Trio fan: their surprise acoustic performance was pretty terrible. Singer Matt Skiba missed an entire verse for one song and some words here and there, including their Pegboy cover. Dan's mic was up too high so he had trouble singing, and the only person who didn't have trouble was Derek on guitar. True, Matt's admittance that he had seen 7 Seconds at the Metro 15 years ago was endearing, but no amount of honesty could salvage that set. To Matt's credit though, he admitted that the set was "thrown together really quickly." Dissapointing.2
Set list:

  • Goodbye Forever (opener)
  • Emma
  • All On Black
  • Mercy Me (new)
  • Deathbed (new)
  • Demons Away (new)
  • Sadie
  • Blue in the Face
  • Sorry About That
  • Field Of Darkness (Pegboy)
Posi legends 7 Seconds came and tore the place apart, back to front, side to side. It might have been the group's 25th year, but you couldn't tell it from their energy. None of the group seemed like they were on their last limbs, clutching at straws; it was, in fact, quite the opposite, with singer Kevin accenting the cymbal crashes at the end of songs with jumps on stage and Troy Mowat hitting the drums as though he had a blood vendetta against them.

Kevin took some time out to talk about "how hardcore changes every week" and how grateful the group is that people still come out after the group's last Chicago show five years ago. Steve Youth railed away on his bass, playing with the speed and skill of people half his age, though his last name is quickly becoming a bit of a misnomer3. Speedy, old-school hardcore was the order of the night, and 7 Seconds proved they can still serve it up better than just about everyone else.

At the end of the show a small fight broke out, which Kevin hoped "didn't happen anymore…we're uber-sensitive about it," as well as defending Matt Skiba from the heckling punx in the pit.

Their set list included, but was not limited to (I did not catch their opener, and missed a couple other songs, so if you do know the songs played, please help me):
  • Here We Go Again Kids
  • Trust
  • Red And Black
  • Regress No Way
  • Walk Together, Rock Together (fake closer)
  • 99 Red Balloons (real closer)
  • One Big Guessing Game
  • If The Kids Are United
  • You Lose
  • Committed For Life
  • Sooner Or Later
  • Not Just Boys Fun
  • Here's Your Warning
  • Slow Down A Second
  • Sooner Or Later
  • Your Parents' Hardcore
  • One Friend Too Many
  • Panic Attack
  • The Crew
  • Young Till I Die
  • A couple of Kevin's teeth were knocked out in Baltimore soon after he had spent "a lot of money" fixing them.
  • According to Brendan, the Lawrence Arms B-sides CD is coming out in June.

1 - 1980-1987
2 - Don't shoot, I'm unarmed.
3 - idea ripped from pastepunk.com