The Gaslight Anthem at the Aragon Ballroom
Somewhere between their humble beginnings in New Jersey, getting signed to a major label and releasing a live DVD, Brian Fallon got tired of being called the “true heir to Springsteen,” but the comparison exists for a reason. The Gaslight Anthem looks, feels and sounds like the dictionary definition of Americana–so much so that you can practically taste the gasoline and smell the whiskey.
It’s a harder, more modern version of The Boss, but it’s still gritty, bootstrapped American rock–which is exactly why it was so fucking weird that they had a light show somewhere between that weird electric fence in Resident Evil that cubed people and an epilepsy test. When you’ve got a sound that only be classified as arena big though I guess it only makes sense to have a light show to match. At least that’s what I’m assuming someone at the record company was thinking when they were figuring out all the logistics for this tour.
Migraine-inducing light show aside, every member of the band was up there looking and sounding exactly like what every member of the audience was expecting. What they might not have been expecting, if they’ve never seen TGA before or read anything about this tour, was a killer cover of Baba O’Riley to finish out the evening (even though there were supposedly three more songs that the venue canceled because of curfew issues). Covering that song isn’t exactly new to The Gaslight Anthem, but it’s always turns into an audience sing-along when everyone realizes that yes, that’s actually the song they’re playing and they know every word.
The performance as a whole was solid, but it was pretty standard fare for The Gaslight Anthem. When you’re talking about TGA though, that’s not a bad thing because they set the bar pretty fucking high.