The Gaslight Anthem Bring New Jersey Rock To The Olympia


The Gaslight Anthem are a rock outfit from New Jersey and you’ve never heard of them. That isn’t a statement of condescension or hipster speak though, rather it’s a statement of pure disbelief. Though they may be a punk outfit to an extent and thrive on the underground end of things, they write and perform music that could slip so easily onto regular mainstream radio that it beggars belief how they haven’t had a big mainstream hit yet. But then, no fan of theirs wants that, their level of fame currently is ideal and sees them retain that garage band feel that made them in the first place.
So last night they returned, to Dublin’s biggest garage (in a good way!) , the Olympia, and once more put on a fantastic show. Given their roots and the lyrical style of their songs, comparisons with Springsteen and the assumption of music journos that the band must idolise him are unavoidable. It all gets a little tiresome at times however. Front man Brian Fallon shares two common traits with Springsteen, he sings as though his life depends on it and he makes it abundantly clear that he is overwhelmingly appreciate of the support the band receive. There it ends, as Gaslight have their own unique style of performance and once more last night it was on show.

Opening with the title track of their latest album, “Handwritten” sets a great tone, as it did earlier this year in the Troxy, and once they began they rarely let up. Highlights of the night were the always welcome “Boomboxes and Dictionaries”, “High Lonesome” which was sadly absent last time in this venue, “Patient Ferris Wheel” which just conveys a tone of innocent youth and big dreams that most band would kill for a d of course the closer, as always, “Backseats” always finishes the night off perfectly. Generally speaking it was a bit if “Handwritten” night it is fair to say, and as their albums go it sits at a respectable fourth (which still is no criticism such is the strength of their talent) but really it’s not about getting to hear this or that song, when a band is investing that much in their material you can’t help but get swept along with them.

Like I said at the start, Gaslight are the best band you’ve never heard of. Don’t get me wrong, they’re not stuck for cash or fame and they aren’t exactly “unknown” but once you’ve seen them live you will wonder how in the hell they aren’t everywhere. Probably the most accessible indie music on the scene, and a cracking live show to boot.

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