Gig Review :: The Gaslight Anthem – Academy 1, Manchester – 24/06/10

We had the greatest expectations…

It was an up and down day really for the Gaslight gig. After seeing a band play as hard as Hot Water Music just days before, it’d be hard for any band to impress me. This wasn’t helped by the exchange Ian and I had with Brian Fallon pre-gig either. All that aside, I’d been told to expect a good show from the New Jersey boys and that’s what we got – a good show. Nothing amazing, but it was far from bad.

Now I don’t want people thinking I’m hating on the band, the music they make is really good and they showed that on stage at Manchester’s Academy 1. A place I’ve not seen that packed in quite some time. The crowd was ready and the band were definitely up for it. The thing is, something was missing. There wasn’t that spark that’s needed to take over a room. There was no energy to the performance. Musically the band were great, but they seemed static throughout. Not to say that they’re lazy, but Brian barely moved throughout the whole set and even had a bit of a moan about his setlist.

Speaking of the setlist, it was great. There was something for everyone in there and, honestly, it was everything a Gaslight fan would want. A good mix of songs from each of their albums, and a lot of them too. There was even a cover of The Who classic ‘Baba O’Reilly’ in there for the older members of the audience. The highlights came in the form of ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Boxer’ and ‘The Spirit Of Jazz’. Three great songs played really well. However, the band seemed fairly sloppy for the most part. Then again, when compared to Chuck Ragan and Co., that seems inevitable.

Overall the show was good and I’d definitely recommend that you go and see them live. However their live show is just that – a show. I couldn’t really call this a performance def. They played ok and the crowd loved it, but I know, and I think they know, they can do better. They’re back touring the UK in October.

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