BY JAMIE DAVIS The Gaslight Anthem are one of those few bands whose songs are almost always full-on punky rock music, but still manage to sound like they would have absolutely no problem being stripped down to just an acoustic guitar. This is exactly what singer Brian Fallon has been doing on tour for the past few months, and on Sunday night he graced us with his presence at the First Unitarian Church. I have always thought that the greatest strength of The Gaslight Anthem is their lyrics, using tales of jukebox romeos and burning diners to create this Springsteen-esque romanticized vision of America.
This view of America is one we seldom see, as if we all still live in the 40’s, and slick back our hair to go dancing on a Friday, switchblade and comb firmly tucked into jacket pocket. These lyrics come through a lot more effectively emotionally when the songs are played on the acoustic guitar, giving you nothing else to tune into to but the guitar and tales of heartbreak and poverty. These are immensely sad lyrics as well, I am man enough to admit there was well more than one point during the night when I wanted to cry.
He came on, gave us about an hour’s worth of tuneage combined with copious amounts of between-song chatter, and then came on for another half-hour encore of cover duets sung with his opening act Dave Hause (of Philadelphia local punk act The Loved Ones). Unfortunately for one audience member Thunder Road was never played, despite him constantly shouting for it in between songs. And despite the slower mood for the evening, massive crowd singalongs still managed to sneak in, with the audience sometimes taking the role of back-up vocals, or at other parts just screaming along to the chorus. We even got some talk (although no music), about the new Gaslight Anthem album. It will apparently be released in June this year, and he described it as their “London Calling” record, so we have big things to hope for. We can only hope it meets the standard of both the last two albums and tonight’s show.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jamie Davis is a senior at Kimberton Waldorf High School. He enjoys Blink-182 more than any Thom Yorke fan should.