Gaslight Anthem at Radio City: A Review

Gaslight Anthem at Radio City Music Hall (09/30/10)
Gaslight Anthem at Radio City
Photo: Tony Cano
Words: Annie Reuter

One of New Jersey’s own reviews one of New Jersey’s own at their Radio City debut. -ed.

The Gaslight Anthem Show Fan Appreciation at Radio City
By Annie Reuter

New Jersey favorites the Gaslight Anthem packed Radio City Music Hall last night for a marathon set of nearly two hours. While the band showcased songs from their entire catalogue, their gratitude to fans was apparent as frontman Brian Fallon continually thanked fans when he could find the words.

Shortly after 9 p.m. Radio City went dark while “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” played through the speakers. The band took the stage to screaming fans and powered through “High Lonesome,” “Boxer,” “We Came to Dance” and “The Diamond Church Street Choir,” an impressive variety of songs from their three full length albums before Fallon addressed the crowd for the first time.

“Radio City. We started playing in basements. Elvis might even show up. I know we’re in New York, but I imagine New Jersey is represented in the crowd tonight.”

While Gaslight Anthem has been touring non-stop over the past few years in support of their critically acclaimed sophomore release, The ’59 Sound and most recently, American Slang, playing Radio City is a definite career boost for the band. Having witnessed them live at smaller venues and outdoor settings, their shows thrive on energy from the crowd, whether it’s kids in the mosh pit or crowd surfing. Though there was no apparent moshing going on from my seats, the energy never wavered and fans were seen raising their beer cups and fists in the air during the entire set.

Energetic tracks including “Great Expectations,” “The ’59 Sound” and “Backseats” had fans singing along word for word while the more emotional “Here’s Looking At You, Kid” and “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts,” a song Fallon dedicated to his parents, struck a chord.

“This song’s for my mom. When I was little, I used to sit on the edge of the bed and play guitar and said, ‘I want to be in a band someday.’ Whenever you say that to any self-respecting parent they say, ‘What?! You want to do what?’ But then they kind of came around and go, ‘Well, alright. You don’t want to go out. You go sit there and play that guitar.’”

Fallon explained how they encouraged him to pursue music, and compared him to everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis Presley.

“After a long while they go, ‘Hey, you’re not so bad.’ And then, a couple years go by and your mom thinks you’re Bob Dylan. She’s like, ‘Bob Dylan, he don’t write songs as good as you do. After it’s said and done, nobody does. Elvis Presley doesn’t.’ That’s what they’re there for. Your mom is there to encourage you.”

Songs like “The Patient Ferris Wheel” saw Jersey fans throw their fists in the air as Fallon sang, “I never felt so strange standing in the Jersey rain.” Earlier in the night, he told the crowd he made sure it didn’t rain for their big NYC gig.

“I spoke to my people about the weather. I got people in the weather department. So I said, ‘Could you hold off with all the tornados and things? Just tonight. These people are nice people, they come from New Jersey.’”
After years of touring, Gaslight Anthem proved they’re the real deal last night at Radio City. Fallon’s relentless vocals combined with Alex Rosamilla and Alex Levine’s guitar interludes and Benny Horowitz’s solid percussion impressed throughout their 25-song set. As the band came back onstage during their six-song encore, Fallon once again thanked the audience.

“Thank you all who came out here tonight, some of you from the basements on up. I’m sure everything that I meant to say will come to me tomorrow. Give your phone number at the door and I’ll call you tomorrow and thank you properly. But thank you, honestly from our hearts to you guys, there are no words. Thanks to everybody who believed in this band. We wouldn’t be able to do it without all of you, our families and our friends. I’ll never forget this my whole life.”

Full setlist and a few videos after the jump.

Gaslight Anthem at Radio City (09/30/10)
High Lonesome
We Came to Dance
The Diamond Church Street Choir
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Old Haunts
The ’59 Sound
Bring It On
Miles Davis and the Cool
I’da Called You Woody, Joe
Angry Johnny And The Radio
Film Noir
The Spirit of Jazz
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
Great Expectations
We Did It When We Were Young

American Slang
The Patient Ferris Wheel
Say I Won’t (Recognize)
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid
She Loves You
The Backseat