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Title: The Gaslight Anthem @ Rock City, Nottingham
Posted: December 26, 2010 (11:05 AM)
Tuesday, 16 November 2010 – The Gaslight Anthem (with Sharks and Chuck Ragan)
Rock City, Nottingham
There've been quite a few gigs that I've been to where the crowd was disappointing despite a decent performance from the band. The night with The Gaslight Anthem was the opposite. I felt that the band was far too static and had merely average stage presence. The only member who actually demanded attention from the attendees was Brian Fallon, lead singer. However, the crowd - being Rock City - was still great; a surprising number sang along to several of the songs and there were a few fairly decent moshes. They weren't as fanatic or enthusiastic as they were when I saw The Subways or Passion Pit, where they were louder and moshes encompassed most of the floor, but that was to be expected when the band did little to invoke a reaction or encourage rowdiness from us. That said, Fallon visibly appeared to enjoy the crowd, broadly grinning and such from time to time, which was a nice touch.
The setlist was pretty lame on the whole. The first four of the six songs played came from their latest album American Slang, which I'm not a huge fan of. They ended up playing 90% of it. The rest of the setlist consisted of a fair few from The '59 Sound and a disappointingly low number from their debut (and best) album Sink or Swim, as well as a Senor and the Queen EP track and a couple of forgettable and rather pointless covers. I definitely would've preferred hearing something like "Boomboxes and Dictionaries" over a seemingly random track by Wilson Pickett. It wasn't until the final two main songs, "Great Expectations" and "The '59 Sound", where I got properly invested in the gig. Before then, I was still nodding my head, singing out the odd lines that I knew, just trying to enjoy myself as much as I could while I was here, but the one-two punch from The '59 Sound was genuinely an awesome seven minutes or so. And the encore wasn't that bad, either - if a bit unspectacular and lacklustre when compared to other encores I've experienced in the past. "1930" was great, as was "The Backseat", though the latter as the closer didn't have a prolonged impact as I would've wanted from the finale.
It's a testament to how apathetic I was about the night when I say that one of the highlights was the occasional chat from Fallon between songs, including talking up Bruce Springsteen (the band's from New Jersey), having a amusing dig at Bon Jovi, and comparing opening act Chuck Ragan to Chuck Norris. Speaking of opening acts, they were sub-par. Sharks were tolerable but ended one song early when the drummer broke his drum pedal, while I wasn't a fan of Ragan's material at all and grew bored extremely quickly, counting down the time until he left the stage. On a more positive note, my low opinion of the gig hasn't had much negative effect on my enjoyment of The Gaslight Anthem's first two albums. They're still excellent.
The Spirit of Jazz
The Diamond Church Street Choir
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
We Came to Dance
Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
Bring It On
In the Midnight Hour (Wilson Pickett cover)
Last Kiss (Wayne Cochran cover)
The '59 Sound
Miles Davis and the Cool
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