It had been about a year and a half since I last saw The Gaslight Anthem. That is generally normal for a band, but if it’s one of your favourite bands then it’s way too long. On top of that, it was a birthday treat! One day before my birthday.
I hadn’t been to Alexandra Palace as a live music venue before and have to say I had no clue it was this big. It’s a beautiful old building up on a hill in North London. What’s even better, before every gig they have these food and drink stalls as well as mercy stands in fron of the entrance. So it feels a bit like a festival which is nice.
The two supports were Bayside and Deer Tick. I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. Deer Tick had played Brooklyn Bowl, where I worked at the time, a few months earlier, but I admittedly at that time had no idea who they were, which is a shame because the band was absolutely mind blowing. It was like a mix of good old rock with this nostalgic touch of Woodstock. It felt like they have been around since the 1960s. I can honestly say, I will happily attend another one of their gigs if they do play London again.
Last time I saw Gaslight the new album was still in the works. So this gig was the first time I’d hear ‘Get Hurt’ live for the first time. There were some songs I knew would be a sure-fire live bulls-eye, however, some felt less Gaslight-y and more me, so it wasn’t obvious how the crowd would take to it.
The set list was nicely mixed with old and new stuff, although the opening with the slow ‘Have Mercy’ was very unlike the usual blast-off it was some kind of wonderful anti-climax at the very start. And as if the band wasn’t entirely sure of how the crowd would take it the next few songs on the setlist were the usual rock n roll suspects to get the crowd moving. Unlike the previous tour, the band played a lot of the very old songs, the dance-able favourites like ‘1930’ and ‘Angry Johnny And The Radio’. The show finished with a firecracker rendition of ‘Backseats’ with the entire crowd screaming their lungs out.
Overall, I always find it hard to say anything negative about Gaslight Anthem, but I do have to say that the singing and the playing seemed mediocre and as if the boys were out-of-tune with each other, as if they were sucked dry.