The Gaslight Anthem received a lot of unwarranted criticism in the wake of their fifth studio release, Get Hurt, earlier this year and this show – part of the band’s biggest UK tour to date – felt a little like going back to basics. And the results were resounding.
From early in the night Brian Fallon had told the audience that the Corn Exchange was “another venue with a curfew” and so the band wouldn’t “waste a song on an encore”, meaning that this gig was played at a breakneck speed from the first note. The only notable pause coming when Fallon expressed astonishment at the number of birthday requests he’d been receiving on Twitter through the day from fans attending the gig; “It can’t be all of y’all’s birthdays!”
This was a breathless, sweaty (very sweaty!) affair with a real electric energy, both on stage and on the floor. Whilst I felt that some of the new material didn’t quite have so much impact – save maybe for Selected Poems, which was sandwiched midset between a thunderous Mulholland Drive and Biloxi Parish – some old favourites flourished in the intense environment. Great Expectations was given a low tempo makeover, evoking memories of the Revival Tour; The Patient Ferris Wheel made a relatively rare and welcome airing and We Came To Dance seethed and soared with excitement.
It’s a rarity to find a gig with so many highs and virtually no lows or idle lulls, but The Gaslight Anthem at full throttle provided that last night. From the hooks and choruses of The ‘59 Sound through the mega sing-along qualities of “45” to the ideal set-closer (not just here, but at any gig) The Backseat, this show had everything. It was a perfect setlist for the night and a flawless performance from the band.
The Gaslight Anthem played:
The ’59 Sound
The Patient Ferris Wheel
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues
Underneath The Ground
We Came To Dance