The Gaslight Anthem returned to Manchester for a celebration
To mark its 10th birthday, New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem played The ’59 Sound in its entirety, and then some.
I’ll start this by saying I am not a die-hard Gaslight fan. Don’t get me wrong I like some of their music, but they’ve never been in my top bands. With that said, this review may be a lot more objective than others (which is a good thing, right?!).
Anyway, after being confirmed for the list less than 2 hours before doors open (that’s not a dig, that’s normal, I just didn’t think I’d get this one!) I packed up and headed over to Manchester’s O2 Apollo. The place was rammed, as you would expect for a sold out show. As I was trying to sort out some box office confusion around photo passes, Dave Hause and The Mermaid warmed up the crowd nicely. As a last minute replacement for The Flatliners, Hause and his accompaniment received a reaction that was reminiscent of a co-headliner rather than a support.
The crowd were clearly happy to be there. That might sound silly, but I mean, this was an older crowd. This was an older crowd that had been waiting for this show for a long time, and they were determined to have a good time.
Finishing the seven song set, Dave Hause left the stage and the venue’s bars filled up.
At around 9.15, TGA came onto the stage to Handwritten’s title track, and to loyal applause. The upbeat track immediately got the crowd moving. TGA dipped into American Slang, and back into Handwritten before diving into the 12 tracks of The ’59 Sound, performed in album order. The 25-song set ended by delving into Get Hurt and Sink or Swim, before ending on American Slang’s title track.
So, going back to the ‘I’m not a die-hard fan’, this band is all about the songs, and this show was for those die-hard fans. There was very little interaction with the crowd, and the band themselves were fairly reserved. However, that was part of the band’s charm. The atmosphere was incredible. Each member of the crowd had a different background, different lives, different problems, but that was put aside for an hour and 45 minutes whilst they all shared one thing. For me, that band would be (putting recent events aside) Brand New. But whoever that band is for you, that kind of atmosphere cannot be beaten.
Despite recognising the atmosphere, I think a lot of the charm was lost on me. That, coupled with a 25 song setlist (kudos on that, it was bloody hot) became a little wearing. However, I would never want to dismiss what Gaslight have no doubt achieved over the years.
TGA are now heading to Europe to continue their 10 year celebration.