NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The Gaslight Anthem played to a sold-out crowd Wednesday night at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. While several hundred lucky fans got an in-person view of their set others could watch the entire show across the globe as it was broadcast live on Livestream.
A preview of what’s to come on their new album Handwritten, due for release July 24, the New Jersey band’s nearly two hour performance included the energetic first single “45” as well as the bluesy “Biloxi Parish” which showcased a new side of the band. With distinct groove, though a slight deviation from the expected, Brian Fallon’s familiar vocals and memorable guitar licks impressed.
The band’s set covered the entirety of Gaslight Anthem’s catalog, from the poignant “Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts” and the classic “Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?” off their first EP Senor and the Queen to the more familiar “Great Expectations” and “Old White Lincoln” from breakthrough album The ’59 Sound. All the while frontman Brian Fallon expressed his gratitude to the fans.
“First show back. Not bad,” Fallon said while addressing the audience for the first time. “Apparently we’re streaming this all over the whole world. I feel like the Beatles on television. Today, a live show. I’ve never seen that before. I’m sure Coldplay has beat us to it, but I haven’t seen it so for me it’s the first time.”
The Gaslight Anthem switched gears effortlessly from the more aggressive “The ’59 Sound” to the slower “Miles Davis & the Cool.”
“I’m so curious as to who’s watching,” Fallon confessed mid-set. “I wonder, is Brazil listening? What’s fancy? Is anybody in Paris watching? Anyone somewhere real far away like Connecticut?”
After talking to a fan from Connecticut in the audience, he addressed a fan from Australia who admitted to having a tattoo of his face on her body.
“You have my face on your leg? What does your husband think about that?” he asked to which she replied, “It’s his favorite!”
“Maybe I want to meet him. It’s interesting. I don’t know how to handle that so I’m going to play a song,” he said before introducing their new single “45,” a song about “just keep on keeping on.”
Released just last week you’d never know it – fans were singing along word for word.
The remainder of their set featured older material they haven’t played in a while including “I’da Called You Woody, Joe” a track from their debut album Sink or Swim that the band filmed the video for on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Meanwhile, Fallon reminisced about the old days and when they performed at a venue in Jersey where the floor caved in.
“I’ll never forget those days, just getting right up close to people. Sometimes I miss it and sometimes I don’t miss it because people smell,” he joked. “It’s true. Let’s be honest.”
The remainder of their set included the emotive “Here’s Looking At You, Kid” and New York centric track “The Queen of Lower Chelsea” which had Fallon poke fun at his old home, Park Slope.
“I used to live in Brooklyn for two years and I couldn’t tell anything from anywhere. The only thing you know is when you’re driving from Park Slope you see moms in strollers and then you cross over into Williamsburg and I don’t know about this place. There are some of the coolest looking people I’ve ever seen,” he said. “I’m like, ‘Am I wearing the right thing?’ I should cut my jean shorts off or something. Everybody looks famous here it’s like Los Angeles but different. Fancy, nice. I like it. I hear you got a bed bug problem, that’s okay.”
As the first chord of “Backseats” began a mosh pit formed on the floor while fans screamed along. Normally the band’s last song, they decided to stick around for an equally fitting encore.
During their last three tracks the energy in the room skyrocketed. Before Gaslight Anthem closed their set with “one of the best rock & roll songs of the era,” the Who’s “Teenage Wasteland,” Fallon promised, “We’re gonna see you real soon.”
Having just released U.S. tour dates for the summer and gearing up for Gaslight Anthem’s upcoming July album release, their fans will no doubt be there.
- Annie Reuter CBS Local