Last Thursday was a rough day. Euphoria and fun from the previous night turn into massive hangover, which made it difficult to endure at work, but I’m a pro, and finally managed to recover. I must admit a warm shower at lunch time also helped, and as the day was advancing, the excitement of the upcoming evening was getting noticeable.
Again, the rock troop was gathering at the meeting point for the pre-show beers, and everybody looked as motivated as I was. Yeah, we all were in the mood.
We had heard some rumors about Apolo theatre sold out. If that was the case, tickets were quite limited. Truth is that the venue was packed, much more than the night before. It was a nice surprise to discover that, apart from people in their 20s, older generations’ presence was remarkable. Probably this fact is one of the things I like most of The Gaslight Anthem: their sound is young, their lyrics are more adult oriented, and the influences for the band are classic artists and bands we’ve also been growing up with.
Mae was the atmospheric intro which led to the overwhelming first part of the show: The ’59 Sound, Handwritten, Old White Lincoln and “45”. The audience was insane almost levitating in happiness. We all thought this was going to be an epic set based on hits.
Unfortunately the setlist became irregular right after Here Comes My Man. The fact that Fallon was quite talkative, interacting with the audience, unfortunately contributed to more empty spaces with radical change in rhythm and people seemed to be quite confused at some point, and even distracted. I don’t know, they focused on mellower tunes very early when we were all demanding hits and energy I guess.
The band recovered the pulse as they were getting closer to the end, and The Backseat, the song that closes The ’59 Sound, was also chosen for finishing the core of the show, before the encore, which was demolishing, with She Loves You, Mulholland Drive, 1930, American Slang and Great Expectations. This time the band covered Bob Dylan’s Changing of the Guards, which didn’t get me crazy as in the previous show in 2011, when they played State of Love and Trust.
If I had to rate the show, it’d be 7,5-8/10. This could have been a memorable show, because the band is at its best, they’ve found their sound, much more solid this time, and although I don’t think the extra guitarist’s contribution is quite remarkable, the truth is that with his support, Brian Fallon looks more comfortable and can focus on the vocals more properly. The members of the band, however, are overshadowed by their frontman, who takes control and provides the band with the charisma the other members seem to lack of, or perhaps aren’t interested in putting up front. It’s a pity American Slang’s presence was reduced to almost nothing, because, even though I don’t think it’s their best, includes many great worthy hits. Finally, the creation of the set list and the order of songs arranged was their biggest mistake. The distribution of tempos and rhythms was irregular and as explained, left a bitter taste in all of us.
Witnessing their increasing popularity and the path they’re advancing by, I’m sure next time they visit us, the venues they’ll be playing at will be bigger and colder, because right now they’re one step behind the mainstream. I’m glad about them, not so much for me as a fan, but have to admit, when being surrounded by youngsters I felt relieved thinking part of the new generations will keep rock alive when I can’t do it anymore.
The show wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t looking for perfection anyway, I just wanted to have fun, yell songs as if I was a teenager, and sharing these moments with my friends, and that’s exactly what I did. I know eventually I’ll attend one of their shows in the future and will feel overwhelmed, because I can feel they’re actually evolving and improving, and hell, they got a bunch of anthems many would sell their souls for having them.
Thus I can say that In The Gaslight Anthem I Trust regardless, with the strong belief that this tiny turning click of the engine to take them to the top is about to happen.
If you feel curious and have time for more videos, I strongly recommend you to visit my friend rocknrollmfs Youtube channel, his stuff is terrific.