Opening for The Gaslight Anthem tonight is Sweden’s Twopointeight. The band look like how they sound – a mixture of straight up rock and Rancid-esque street punk. The choruses are big, the guitar work is solid and the three way harmonies are well executed. As tight as this relatively unknown four piece are, it’s clear that the crowd only want one band tonight and they struggle to get much of a rise from the rapidly filling venue.
Tonight is, without a doubt, The Gaslight Anthem’s night. The new jersey boys may have been over quite a few times since their game changing third album ‘American Slang’ but the anticipation is always the same. They opened with ‘Great Expectations’ followed by ‘We Came To Dance’ and ‘Cassanova, Baby!’ With a fall tour booked to promote their upcoming fourth album, ‘Handwritten,’ it became clear that tonights show was to be a greatest hits set, cherry picking the best songs from all of their previous releases.
Highlights included an emotional rendition of ‘Blue Jeans And White Tee Shirts’, the incorporation of Brand New’s ‘Jesus’ into one of their older songs and a surprising balcony dive from Brian Fallon. Their new single ’45’ went down a storm as did their ode to the late great Joe Strummer (‘I’da Called You Woody, Joe’). The Gaslight Anthem have truely become skilled in picking a setlist which shows of their songs in the best possible light – gone are the days when the set would stop and start like an ill looked after estate car – everything flows perfectly now, further immersing you into a world of dangerous women, late night coffee and old ‘55 cars.
The Gaslight Anthem are a band who have always come across as genuine and tonight is no different. Brian is all smiles as he thanks the fans for coming out and pokes fun at the Koko’s theatrical interior. They ended their 25 song set with a cover of The Who’s ‘Baba O’ Reily’ and a promise to return as soon as the new record is out. Very few deserve the following praise but, in all honestly, The Gaslight Anthem were as near to perfect as it is possible to be.
Words by Richard Heaven (@RichardHeaven)