Monday, October 19, 2009

Rockin' Out: The Gaslight Anthem @ Terminal 5 10/15/09

As I went to start writing this entry, it dawned upon me that I completely forgot to take a crappy Blackberry picture at this show. Last week was mentally draining and by the time Thursday night rolled around, all I wanted to do was have a couple of adult beverages, see a good live show, not worry about a sick pet for a few hours and certainly not deal with the maddeningly poor camera on my Blackberry. Well, mission accomplished on all fronts! [And I am happy to report that after a pretty good scare, Buddy The Cat is well on his way to a full recovery.]

I was first introduced to The Gaslight Anthem in the summer of 2008. I hadn't heard any of their music, but multiple friends whose musical opinions I trust told me that I had to check them out. So, I got tickets for their show at The Knitting Factory and went in with no preconceived notions and only a loose idea of what to expect. It'd been a while since I'd gone to see a band having no idea what they sounded like and fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised. The band wears their Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty influences proudly on their sleeves (making more than a few lyrical references to both artist's work in their songs), but injects a punk (and I use the term "punk" loosely) vibe into the mix. I bought both of their excellent albums, Sink Or Swim and The '59 Sound, right after the show and have been singing their praises since. I saw them open for Rise Against/Alkaline Trio/Thrice later that same year and was still impressed. Even though they were playing conceivably the worst venue in New York City (Terminal 5) this time around, I still wanted to see them because I knew it'd be a fun show. Well, even Terminal 5 couldn't suck the fun out of The Gaslight Anthem's live show. There is nothing particularly unique about the band's performances....they just get up, play the songs, make sure the audience is having a good time along the way and then say good night, but when the music is good enough, that is all you need right? Only having two proper studio albums out, the band isn't really at a stage in their career where they can leave out any songs that you are just dying to hear, but that is just my opinion.

I don't need to see The Gaslight Anthem every single time they roll through town, but when I'm in the mood for a good, light-hearted rock n roll show, they will certainly fulfill my needs.

"The '59 Sound"

"Great Expectations"

"I'm On Fire" (Bruce Springsteen cover)

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