A Top Quality Show
Gaslight Anthem have been creating quite a stir lately with new album, ‘The ’59 Sound’. It’s their first show in Scotland however and they seem quite impressed at the packed venue, with singer Brian telling the crowd that he’s going to call his mum and tell him that people in Scotland came to see them. He’s instantly comfortable with the usual overexuberant and frequently incomprehensible Scottish banter as well. The band play a set of an hour that sees them miss their curfew, but who cares when you’re having fun?!
They blast through tracks from all of their albums, kicking off with ‘Great Expectations’ before moving into ‘Wooderson’ from their previous album and the gorgeous ‘Old White Lincoln’, the latest single to be released from the current album. Their furied playing, passionate delivery and buoyant energy, as well as their classic American sound casts them as young American dreamers with romantic lyrics and frequent references to other American greats, with the line, “And at night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet, it’s a pretty good song, maybe you know the rest”, making instant reference to Springsteen, who is surely the most obvious influence on their sound. There are girls called Rita and Gail and Mary, there are suitcases, hell there are probably some porches thrown in for real American grit too. ‘Id’a Called You Woody Joe’ is introduced by a sparky version of ‘Stand By Me’ which also gets the crowd cheering, while ‘What Becomes of the Broken Hearted’ is spliced into another song. This is a band who are not afraid of their cultural heritage and ready to use it to create songs that are full of wit and create a good time feel.
The tunes are constantly rousing with numbers like, ‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’ met by an instant singalong chorus. It’s not just tracks from the new album that impress though, the lovely ‘Blue Jeans and White Tshirts’ from the band’s recent EP makes a pleasant break from the chugging guitar rock as its soft, ballad-esque strains soothe the audience for a while.
It’s rare to see a band seem genuinely excited to be playing a venue and The Gaslight Anthem really seem to give it their all, with every song delivered with power and energy, even the drummer stuck behind his kit, flailed around with enough force to give the feeling of enjoyment. The Gaslight Anthem will be accused of aping a lot of their influences; it’s evident that they wear them on their sleeve, but when they put so much passion into what they do and give the audience a great performance, who’s to fault them?