Wednesday, 06 October 2010 11:41
"I have seen the future of rock and roll, and its name is..." In the mid-1970s, Jon Landau, the most respected reviewer at Rolling Stone magazine, finished that quote with the name Bruce Springsteen. Today, I think it's safe to say that Landau and many other critics would place their bets on The Gaslight Anthem.
By Thomas Nassiff, Photos by Tom Parsons
The Gaslight Anthem took the stage a little after 11:30 Tuesday night at :08 Nightclub, a late start to what would be a set of more than 20 songs. The group played until about 1 am, leaving the entire club feeling entirely drained yet wholeheartedly satisfied.
In what was perhaps the best live performance I've experienced all year, frontman Brian Fallon and company left everything on the stage on Tuesday night. Opening with "Stay Lucky", the second track on their June release American Slang, Gaslight set the tone for what proved to be a very up-tempo set.
The group played eight of the 10 songs on its latest record, but also found room to squeeze in a good amount of material from its 2007 debut, Sink or Swim. Of course, they sprinkled in about eight songs from their most adored album, 2008's The '59 Sound.
All in all, it was a varied set that pleased the entire crowd, including fans of the group's 2008 EP Senor and the Queen. They played all four songs from that EP, giving the audience a long set that felt like it went by in minutes.
Very rarely does one see a person who loves his or her job as much as Fallon seems to. In between making jokes with guitarist Alex Rosamilia and bassist Alex Levine, he often broke into laughter during songs and was grinning most of the night.
Fallon's energy paced the band and invigorated the crowd, leading an almost visual outpouring of soul and rock 'n' roll at :08. There was something about the group's set which, for lack of a better word, was indescribable.
Some people call it moxy and others credit that intangible aura to the group's blue-collar upbringing, but quite simply, this band just has it. Whatever it may be, no one really knows, but The Gaslight Anthem possess it and will hold onto it as long as they are a group.
After all the fads and cult obsessions of our time pass, after Lady Gaga exits the center of the mainstream's short attention span, and after everyone finishes wishing that airplanes in the night sky were like shooting stars, The Gaslight Anthem will remain.
It isn’t the last rock and roll band standing yet, but it is without a doubt the best modern-day group we have in the genre. In however many years, when everybody knows The Gaslight Anthem and Brian Fallon as household names, people who were at this show will remember what they saw.
They saw the future of rock and roll.