Music review: Gaslight Anthem

The Gaslight Anthem
The Gaslight Anthem
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EVEN in the fan/artist love-in zone of Barrowland, it is still rare to hear a crowd singing along at the top of their voices to every song in the set, but such was the surround sound choral experience at this Gaslight Anthem show, celebrating the tenth birthday of The ’59 Sound, their Springsteen-endorsed breakthrough album, combining brawny roots rock played at punk velocity.

Barrowland, Glasgow ***

The audience actually sounded louder than the band on set-opener Handwritten. By three songs in on The Spirit Of Jazz, a track which barrelled along without making much of an impression, frontman Brian Fallon was duetting in call-and-response style with the crowd.

Then it was time to power through The ’59 Sound in precise chronological order, with the fans word perfect on the title track – a testament to the album’s storytelling drive – and filling the gap teasingly left by the band on Old White Lincoln, a mid-paced indie pop number with distinct shades of their similarly Springsteen-loving contemporaries The Killers, which allowed drummer Benny Horowitz his first respite in a set which was fast-paced but rarely dynamic.

Film Noir stood out among the garage rock efficiency with its staccato, punchy swagger but there were whole swathes of their audio freeway with little to see. Moving beyond the album celebration, they offered the epic aspirations of Too Much Blood and the big finish of American Slang but mustered greater power in the quiet vulnerability of National Anthem than across any number of rowdier exchanges.

FIONA SHEPHERD