The Heirs To The Rock Crown
There’s probably no better band to warm up a crowd for Bruce Springsteen than The Gaslight Anthem. Their bittersweet patriotism, youthful charm and powerful rock songs make them the inevitable heirs to The Boss’s crown and they make no secret of it. From the very first tune, ‘High Lonesome’ there’s a large portion of the crowd singing merrily along. Impassioned tunes like, ‘Old White Lincoln’ go down a treat and Brian Fallon teases the crowd as if he’s a real seasoned pro, getting down on the stage on his stomach and whispering to a roadie about the attractive ladies in the crowd, the amused roadie plays along for a while before scuttling to the side but Fallon has had his fun and simply oozes confidence. The singer winds up the crowd asking them who they’re here to see and within seconds Springsteen appears on stage to join them for ‘The ’59 Sound’, which inevitably winds the crowd up into a frenzy and the young band remain unfazed, joking that you should never underestimate a kid from Jersey as The Boss leaves.
Aside from simply playing excellent, rousing rock songs, The Gaslight Anthem seem to have mastered the art of really getting a crowd behind them as they add tense pauses to tunes to allow Fallon to wind the audience up even more before launching into epic codas. It’s not a new or unique musical approach but it’s perfect for the situation and what they do, they do extremely well. Alongside big rock tunes like, ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘The Backseat’ which elicit triumphant clapping there are softer songs like, ‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’ which just add to the dynamics of the set. This is the kind of stuff that real rock and roll is made of and The Gaslight Anthem do a brilliant job of it.