Gaslight Anthem @ O2 Academy, Birmingham – Sunday 23rd November 2014


Review & photos by Russ Powney

Vivid imagery, tales of love won and love lost, classic Americana, Gaslight Anthem wear their heart on their sleeve for all the world to see in all its brutal honesty. In Brian Fallon they have a singer songwriter who not only pays homage to the great art of American lyricists but builds on that reputation. Perhaps to suggest with a little bit of Joe Strummer thrown in for good measure would romanticise his growing reputation and mastery of the modern songsmith.

Gaslight Anthem
Gaslight Anthem

Gigs are an emotive event, full of passion, joy and celebration bringing people together from far and wide not only geographically but politically and socially. Music enables us to share experiences, share our devotion to a particular genre. Often semi religious, living long in the memory of those who attend, life affirming and often life changing. In Gaslight Anthem all of the ingredients are there; anthemic and glorious songs, written to be played with courage and strength. “No Retreat, No Regret” a line from ‘Meet Me By The Rivers Edge’ is just one example of standing your ground. Every one of the twenty three songs played this evening filled us full to the brim of love and life. No let up, ninety minutes of letting go of fear and just living.

Gaslight Anthem are so compelling the evening disappears in a heartbeat, they give us everything and yet they leave us wanting, such a sign of how utterly wonderful they are. It would be churlish to try and pick out a highlight a stand out track, for everyone gave us a treasure to hold, an individual present, each played as if it were the last time you would ever hear it. Leaving us with dreams of love won and love lost in equal measure.

Forever the embodiment of cool , Brian Fallon dressed in white t-shirt and jeans, classic in style from way back when the world was in black and white gave his heart and soul for us and for this we must be truly thankful. Gaslight Anthem are relevant, they reaffirm what it is to feel alive.

Gaslight Anthem
Gaslight Anthem

1. The ’59 Sound
2. Handwritten
3. Stay Lucky
4. 1,000 Years
5. Ain’t That A Shame
6. High Lonesome
7. Wooderson
8. Underneath The Ground
9. Selected Poems
10. 45
11. Mulholland Drive
12. The House of the Rising Sun
13. Meet Me by the Rivers Edge
14. American Slang
15. Film Noir
16. Great Expectations
17. Señor And The Queen
18. We Came To Dance
19. 1930
20. Astro Zombies
21. She Loves You
22. Drive
23. The Backseat
See more of Russ’ photos here