Concert Review: The Gaslight Anthem, August 9, Rebel

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After a quartet of songs to start off the night, The Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon addressed the crowd, focusing his attention on a very specific subsection of the crowd – the VIP area to the side of the stage. “What did you do to get put over there?” he asked them. “What are you, over 40? You look young – why are you sitting down?” After a couple more jokes about bottle service and security not being needed for that crowd, Fallon returned his attention to the show and to the rest of the packed house at Rebel with a simple “Alright here it goes. A bunch of songs.” And with that understated introduction, the band launched into “Great Expectations,” the first track off of The ’59 Sound.

It’s become all too commonplace over the past several years for bands to tour behind a classic album and though some may question the deep dive into nostalgia, it’s a good reason for a band to go out on tour without having to have a brand new release to promote and it’s certainly a popular move with the fans. And while I’m sure most of the devoted Gaslight Anthem fans in attendance would be happy to see the band perform any one of their albums in its entirety (OK, probably not Get Hurt), their sophomore album, with its punk-goes-Springsteen vibe and use of retro ’50s imagery, was their breakthrough and is the one that makes the most sense to get the track-by-track performance tour.

If by chance The ’59 Sound is not your favourite though, the band still played plenty of other songs from throughout their career (but no requests please), bringing out opener Matt Mays near the end of the set to join them for “National Anthem” before closing things off with “We’re Getting A Divorce, You Keep The Diner” and “American Slang.” No encore though, because as Fallon so eloquently put it, encores are stupid. Amen.

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Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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