What seemed like all of New Jersey packed into New York City's Irving Plaza last night to give New Brunswick quartet the Gaslight Anthem a celebratory send-off for what could well be the tour that catapults them into the big time. Last June, Brian Fallon and Co. rocked alongside their hero Bruce Springsteen at Glastonbury — this time, the superstar firepower didn't show up, but the band certainly didn't need the help. Their third disc American Slang may have only hit the street earlier yesterday, but its thumping title track has already become an anthem for the people left behind by a runaway American dream.
The band's 22-song set was filled with new material (including the Clash-influenced numbers "Stay Lucky" and "Queen of Lower Chelsea," which proved the band has a broader record collection than some assumed), but left plenty of room for shout-along heart-on-sleeve missives from the band's first two discs Sink or Swim and The '59 Sound. The crowd's word-for-word recitals of Fallon's cinematic narratives during the eight-song encore of oldies served as a reminder that the band's music, like their Garden State hero's, is equally ideal for personal meditation as group appreciation.
In return, the singer sent out a steady stream of gratitude from the stage, as Fallon stopped to thank just about everyone they'd ever met, whether it was the group's family and friends watching the balcony, their fellow rock & roll compatriots from New Brunswick the Bouncing Souls and the hundreds of devotees in the venue. "After our last album The ‘59 Sound, we went from nothing to something very quickly so I just want to thank you all for that," he announced. Judging by the massive response last night, they might just go from something to everything soon.
"Old White Lincoln"
"Bring It On"
"Diamond Church Street Choir"
"Queen of Lower Chelsea"
"Spirit of Jazz"
"We Came to Dance"
"Blue Jeans and White T Shirts"
"The Navesink Banks"
"Even Cowgirls Get the Blues"
"Miles Davis and the Cool"
"Senor and the Queen"
"Here's Looking At You, Kid"
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