Live In Concert – The Gaslight Anthem, Olympia Theatre, 2010

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Back in 09 a buddy pointed out a band to me in Rolling Stone. They were from New Jersey, they played in a punk rock fashion and one of their songs directly lifted/referenced Bruce Springsteen lyrics. ‘Nuff said, I was interested. What followed from there was me well and truly developing an obsession with Gaslight that has remained solid to today, and with them playing here in a few months what better time than now to look back at when I first saw them.

What first struck me about Gaslight live is something I haven’t been caught out by since. At the time they weren’t on the radio, ergo this gig would be half empty. Arriving at The Olympia to see SOLD OUT signs on the door I was shocked, how big are these guys? Heading into the theatre the place was absolutely wedged, more so than I’ve ever seen during a support act. The queues had been going all day seemingly. I won’t dwell too much on the support act inexplicably covering the title track, American Slang, from the album Gaslight were currently touring but suffice to say the buzz around the place was nearly akin to that of Mumford & Sons at midnight and I was both taken aback and delighted.

Landing on stage to the words of Phil Lynnot as The Boys Are Back In Town blamed over the speakers, I soon discovered that unrelenting pace is the remit of these guys. Their albums tend to all be similar structured, up until past year’s Get Hurt anyway, in that they write fast and heavy punk of a slightly more “grown up” fashion with the mid point of the album featuring something of an opus then winding down to a closer of epic proportions. In concert things are much the same from them and damn it works. Spirit Of Jazz rips into the air with that piercing riff and off we go, the pace doesn’t slow until Diamond Church Street Choir four tracks in and even then it aint by much. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues brings the speed right down to a sway but don’t be fooled into thinking this is the slow set.

Much like The Killers before them, what gets me most about Gaslight is that constant barrage of noise that manages to remain coherent and tangible at the same time. Somehow Brian Fallon manages, in his thirties, to still pull off screaming down a mic like an angry teen but at the same time elevating the overall quality to something more. For further proof of their have a go attitude and stamina you need look no further than a seven song encore too. Even I was nearly needing to sit down whilst they looked like they had another hour in them. Throwing the likes of American Slang (for the second and better time that night of course) it all barrelled along to the epic finale of The Backseat with a nice segue into I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For for good measure. Real artists are a rarity on this sort of a podium these days. They play The Olympia Theatre once again on June 8th and there’s a lot worse you could do with 30 quid, trust me.

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niallhetherington

Bachelors Degree in Arts from NUI Maynooth. Double Honours English & Philosophy.

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