Our American cousins certainly put on a show to remember at London’s Alexandra Palace last night as both Gaslight Anthem, and support act Deer Tick, delivered the type of sets that would grace headline slots at any number of Festivals. It was a relentless, jaw dropping evening of rock music that should be the blueprint for how all gigs should be executed.
Support act Deer Tick were a real surprise. Thankfully, many of the normal bar-huggers were stage-front to see a 30 minute set that covered a myriad of genres from standard rock to unapologetic rockabilly (the well-received ‘I Got a Rocket in my Pocket). It was compulsive listening and anyone who missed ‘Ashamed’ or ‘Baltimore Blues No. 1’ will certainly be poorer for it. A special mention should be made for John McCauley’s suit … he himself described it as a ‘Suit made from a couch’. That aside, Deer Tick were as close to the perfect support a band could wish for and ensured there would be no sluggish start for the main act.
The incredible part of The Gaslight Anthems set was the sheer number of songs they performed. It was a marathon of a performance and must have eclipsed the 20 tracks mark as I ran out of fingers and toes to count on. The ferocity and endeavor to provide this level of entertainment was worth the ticket price alone … the truth is, I would have paid double such was the quality on show.
The set was a mixture of new tracks from 2014 release ‘Get Hurt’ and the bands bulging back catalogue (it’s incredible to think that ‘The 59 Sound’ is now 6 years old). The album title track ‘Get Hurt’ and ‘45’ were well received but it was the classics that took the set to another spellbinding level. ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Old White Lincoln’ and ‘American Slang’ were delivered with the same zest as the newer material and all received a frenzied response from the audience. It was a remarkable evening that no one particularly wanted to finish.
I suppose one of the downsides of performing at the ‘Ally Pally’ is it’s terrible transport links. Many of the gigs I’ve attended there involve leaving 10 minutes early to beat the insanity of trying to board a single train that usually holds 800 people (but on gig night needs to hold 5000 or more). However, very few left early last night as I guess the thought of queues and busses seemed a little more bearable considering what that they were witnessing.
Future Gaslight Anthem dates include…
21st November 2014 – Corn Exchange, Edinburgh (with Deer Tick)
22nd November 2014 – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff (with Deer Tick)
23rd November 2014 – Academy, Birmingham (with Deer Tick)
5th December 2014 – Patriot Center, Fairfax
29th January 2015 – The Tivoli, Brisbane
31st January 2015 – Enmore Theatre, Sydney
3rd February 2015 – Forum, Melbourne
5th February 2015 – HQ Complex, Adelaide