I’ve always liked the Alarm’s music, but growing up and seeing their videos on MTV, some of it went over my head. “The Stand”, “68 Guns”, “Blaze of Glory” and “Strength” all made my heart race, but it felt like there was some kind of mysterious high concept to the band and the songs that never fully clicked for me. The songs that resonated most for me all seemed to be about strife, but my young, very literal mind couldn’t wrap around why they were fighting. They broke up in 1991, before I really got into live music, so I never got the chance to see them in person and mostly forgot about them except for when their songs would come up on shuffle.
That changed last week. By sheer chance, we heard that the Alarm would be playing the Triple Door a few nights later. I was a bit concerned that the Triple Door wouldn’t be a good venue for them, but we were both excited to see the Alarm. The first show was sold out, but we managed to get seats to the second.
I needn’t have worried. The show was about 1/3 full, our seats were excellent, the band did a great job of filling up the space, and I’ve long since come to appreciate songs about struggle. Every one of us has fought their own battles, whether literal or figurative, and we’ve all got our scars. Mine pale in comparison to the campaigns against cancer that both Mike and Jules Peters have endured, but sharing space and those songs with them, it finally clicked. I hear they’ll be touring again in 2018, and I plan to be there.