The Gaslight Anthem
With the rain hammering it down on the Sunday of Download, all who remained were sodden, cold and rundown. Luckily two bands were on hand to cheer us all up, one being Bowling For Soup, the other being The Gaslight Anthem and with the huge cheshire cat-like smile radiating from Brian Fallon's face, they did just that and more.
Opening with the anthemic and driving 'Orphans' the New Jersey band kicked things off to a rollicking start with the crowd fist-pumping through the rain amidst determined sing-a-longs. The band exuded warmth and were clearly happy to be at Donington with Fallon's charm shining through in hilarious Linkin Park and Metallica impressions and getting the entire crowd to throw the horns while screaming 'metal!'. It also showed potently in their brilliant honest rock n' roll with the massive call-to-arms of 'The '59 Sound' accompanying the more relaxed nature of 'The Queen of Lower Chelsea' perfectly, adding choice cuts from underrated debut 'Sink or Swim' equally added to the sense of fun. The set's peak though came in the form of 'The Patient Ferris Wheel' when the rain was at its most unrelenting, the song's apt "I've never felt so strange, standing in the Jersey rain" chorus standing out as one of the weekend's true highlights.
The Gaslight Anthem proved that they can play any festival within the 'rock' bracket, regardless of how heavy, with their genuine showmanship and personability. Brilliant stuff.