Although Brian Fallon rarely talks between songs, you get the sense he's very glad to be here, and addresses those gathered in such a laid-back fashion it's as if he's with a few select friends rather than a collected group of nameless ticket holders. Here's what we learnt.
There’s no bells and whistles This show is very much about the songs, and given the fact that this band has written so many that is no bad thing. The Gaslight Anthem have always been somewhat of a no-frills proposition, their music being paramount, without a trace of flashy gimmicks. Nobody’s expecting pyro, band members flying over the crowd or exploding codpieces. However, the importance of the music is cemented by the fact that the band play an impressive, career-spanning set of 26 songs. People are certainly getting their money’s worth.
Little can go wrong when The Gaslight Anthem play their songs With such an impressive back catalogue to choose from, be it bittersweet rock’n’roll anthems like 45, the gut-wrenching She Loves You, or life-affirming songs like The Diamond Church Street Choir putting huge smiles on faces, all of the Gaslight Anthem’s songs come from such an honest and heartfelt place that they’re naturally delivered with the sort of genuine passion you’d hope for.
The crowd put a massive downer on proceedings Perhaps it’s in part down to Fallon’s casual manner on stage, or the lack of a flashy show, but ultimately the songs should be enough to make this a truly special event. However, the thing that lets this show down so drastically is completely out of the band’s hands, with the fans who sing or clap along drastically outnumbered by those chatting amongst themselves, taking selfies or basking in their own disinterest. It puts a severe downer on proceedings, and the atmosphere suffers.
**With Brian Fallon at the helm, it’s hard to be disappointed **Even when faced with a lacklustre crowd, the quality of this band still finds a way to shine through. A large part of that comes from Fallon’s voice, one of the most affecting in rock music. His vocals tonight are every bit as heart-wrenching as you’d expect. He could probably cover LMFAO and bring grown men to tears. Closing with a rousing rendition of The Backseat, the Gaslight Anthem — even when up against it — prove they can still create those goosebump moments.