It’s the first date on The Gaslight Anthem’s UK leg supporting their new album ‘American Slang’ and it’s an almost sold out show. A year ago they were playing to 300 people at the old Academy 2 so tonight is a huge step up as they take on a 3000 strong audience who are all more than ready to be charmed by Brian Fallon and co.
It’s a sweatbox in the Academy and as I snake my way through the packed crowd Twin Atlantic are already on stage. They take a while to get the crowd on their side due mostly to the terrible sound with only the drum and bass coming through, it’s a muddy mess. However when the sound issues are overcome Twin Atlantic has their chance to win over the Academy crowd with their angular, Biffy Clyroesque rock and they do just that. A Scottish band with a lead singer singing in a broad Scottish accent is refreshing to hear and with killer tune ‘Where is Light, Where is Laughter’ getting an airing tonight I’m reminded once again that I should be listening to these guys more often.
There’s no big, flashy entrance for the The Gaslight Anthem, they just stride on to the stage with their respective instruments and take their mark. With no introduction they head straight into the title track and first single off their new album ‘American Slang’.
For the second time tonight the sound is terrible but it seems to be overcome after the first couple of songs, it doesn’t stop the crowd from singing along though. Mixing in the new with the old seamlessly The Gaslight Anthem blast out tune after tune and it’s only after the first 4 songs that they actually stop to take in everything. It’s in this break that the chanting of ‘Brian, Brian, Brian’ from the crowd is heard by the guys on the stage. As the smile on Brian Fallon’s face gets bigger he asks ‘Did I just get a chant? This shit is getting weird!’ and with egos boosted the intro to their biggest hit to date, ‘The 59 Sound’ rings out across the Academy and the crowd go crazy.
A discussion between Brian and guitarist Alex Rosamilia about who they would want as a dad is an interesting choice of topic for the onstage banter. Turns out Tom Petty would be cool but Brian changes his mind at the last minute and opts for Tom Campbell, Tom Petty’s guitarist. ‘Miles Davis & the Cool’ is brilliant and Fallon shows off his knowledge of British geography as he introduces ‘The Queen of Lower Chelsea’ with ‘Chelsea, you have one of those over here!’
Time seemed to fly by, as they walked off stage after ‘Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts’ the whole crowd were praying for just a little bit more, 14 songs just weren’t quite enough! It wasn’t long before they were back for the encore and with ‘We came to Dance’ and ‘Wooderson’ off their debut being played, pleasing the older fans no end. Closing the show with ‘The Backseat’ The Gaslight Anthem left the stage to rapturous applause and the crowd left satisfied with what was an amazing show!
The Gaslight Anthem are on to something big, it’s probably going to be the last time they will be playing a venue this size, there is no stopping them now and with a bit more radio play they will be headlining arena sized venues in the not too distant future. You want nothing more than success for those New Jersey boys.
Old White Lincoln
The Spirit of Jazz
The ’59 Sound
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
Miles Davis & The Cool
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
Bring It On
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
We Came to Dance
State of Love and Trust (Pearl Jam cover)
Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid
Review – Hannah Sebestjanowicz
Photos – Steve Gerrard