The Gaslight Anthem + Blood Red Shoes + Dave Hause @ 02 Academy, Birmingham – 20 October 2012

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Review by Paul Davis and Photos by Laura Patterson

It may be getting colder outside, but inside the Academy it was a sweaty, sold out show as New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem returned to the region for the first time in a couple of years. Opening the show was their buddy Dave Hause (The Loved Ones) and Brighton’s Blood Red Shoes.

It was disappointing to miss most of Dave Hause’s set having been hugely impressed by him on last year’s Revival Tour with Gaslight’s Brian Fallon.  However it was good to see him performing to a packed venue despite his early start. Blood Red Shoes are a duo featuring Laura-Mary Carter on guitar and Steven Ansell on drums, they share vocal duties and create such a huge sound it’s hard to believe there’s only the two of them on stage. Highlights of their set include ‘It’s Getting Boring By The Sea’ and ‘I Wish I was Someone better’.  Despite the impressive sound there’s a feeling that this bill isn’t quite right for them, although Brian Fallon takes time to sing their praises later in the evening.

Since that last appearance in the West Midlands at Wolverhampton’s Civic Hall, The Gaslight Anthem have bolstered their line up with Fallon’s Horrible Crowes partner Ian Perkins joining as an additional guitarist. Usually a band will open their show with all guns blazing, but tonight The Gaslight Anthem start with the low key ‘Mae’ from Handwritten. It’s not long before the crowd are singing along though and the pace and atmosphere changes completely with their second song, ‘The ’59 Sound’.

Their set is well balanced, the new songs are welcomed like old favourites, other  songs from Handwritten tonight are first single ‘45’, ‘Mulholland Drive’, ‘Too Much Blood’, ‘Howl’ and, after the 3000 strong audience had spent the encore break singing it’s chorus, latest single ‘Here Comes My Man’.  Dave Hause returns to the stage to provide backing vocals on the excellent ‘American Slang’.

The intros to older songs like ‘Even Cowgirls Get The Blues’ are met with rapturous applause.   When talking about the influences on Handwritten prior to release, Fallon had spoken about growing up in the grunge years and listening to bands like Pearl Jam but tonight it’s Nirvana that gets the Gaslight cover treatment with ‘Sliver’.

The main set comes to an end with ‘Great Expectations’ , a favourite for band and audience alike. They begin their four song encore with ‘She Loves You’, followed by ‘Here Comes My Man’.  After performing their latest single they go way back with ‘1930’ and ending the night with ‘The Backseat’.  The Gaslight Anthem  continue to grow and as their fans left the venue marking the end of one UK tour, they will already be eagerly awaiting the next tour announcement.

And you can see more shots from the show below: