Last year Gaslight Anthem played on the Lock Up Stage and quite frankly they were out of place. They might have been born out of the punk scene but musically they are a long way from it these days and this years appearance on the NME/Radio 1 stage is much more comfortable for them. Having released their second album to critical acclaim and playing Glastonbury earlier this year it looks as though they have firmly crossed over into the mainstream.
The sound is great and it suits their easy on the ear melodic stories. That’s really the key to Gaslight Anthem, they have the ability to tell a tale within a song and are reminiscent of new best friend Bruce Springsteen in that respect. The crowd reaction is great and this clearly isn’t lost on front man Brian Fallon who if anything slightly over does the thanks but so rapid has been their rise that you’d forgive him for being somewhat overawed.
The set flows well and they come over much tighter than when we saw them last year, comfortably making the step up to a bigger stage. That said some of the material isn’t that great and whilst the overall performance is quite endearing there are a few dull moments and towards the end I begin to lose interest. They finish with ‘The Backseat’ and it’s a rather triumphant finale with the crowd giving them as rousing a send off as they did a welcome.