The Gaslight Anthem have become one of the biggest bands in the world. Every show they play, especially in the Tri-State area, is a big deal, selling out quickly. Their three night stint at Terminal 5 in NYC 11/28-30 was no different. Luckily, I was able to check them out again on the first night of that, Wed 11/28.
NY’s own Laura Stevenson and The Cans opened the show. This 5 piece indie/folk rock act was entertaining to watch. Stevenson is sweet and cute on stage, and she surrounds herself with other talented musicians At one point one of them even played accordion I literally have never seen a band play accordion live. They sounded great, albeit maybe a little strange as the band opening for TGA, but in any event they were great and the crowd loved them.
It wasn’t long after Laura left the stage that The Gaslight Anthem took the stage. With big smiles and waves for everyone, the strapped on their instruments and started off with a track of their last album, Mae. Mae is a bit of a slower song off of “Handwritten:, it’s an absolutely beautiful track but it seemed like a strange way to open. Gaslight is known for high energy and they usually start with something rocking. They picked it up with the next two tracks: The ’59 Sound and The Diamond Church Street Choir. The crowd was pumped and on their feet.
At this point pretty much everyone knows who Gaslight is. That Jersey band who wears their influences on their sleeve without sounding like they are trying to copy anyone. Led by Brian Fallon on vocals and guitar, Alex Levine on bass, Benny Horowitz on drums, Alex Rosamilia on lead guitar and touring member Ian Perkins on rhythm guitar. Over the last few years of touring they have really become a super tight live band that sounds really great.
Brian is funny during the show, interacting with the audience. For the most part, the band is content to play and let him have the spotlight. Perkins and Rosamilia especially hang towards the back while they play. Levine comes to the front and rocks out for the kids closest to him from time to time, but Fallon is really the guy who does most of the interacting.
The set list was a pretty long one and it bounced around all of their albums. Favorites like “45,” “Too Much Blood,” “Here Comes My Man,” “American Slang,” “Biloxi Parish,” “Miles Davis and the Cool”…everything sounded pretty spot on. Again though, seeing them play a few times before they just seemed a little more subdued that night than I was used to. Still great, just a bit more mellow.
They played a whopping 6 song encore which started with a Matthew Ryan cover, “I Can’t Steal You.” Matthew Ryan played before Laura Stevenson (I missed this) and he came out to join Gaslight on this song. It sounded great. They finished off with “She Loves You,” “Mulholland Drive,” “The Queen of Lower Chelsea” and “Blue Dahlia.” They saved one of the absolute fan favorites for last, Great Expectations.
It was a fantastic night and a great treat for New York City. It is impossible not to be impressed when you see The Gaslight Anthem play and it is easy to see why they are blowing up. They have a tendency of popping up here and there in NJ and NYC, but right now they are on a short tour across the US. Making new fans everywhere they go, I have no doubt.