When The Gaslight Anthem first touched down on British soil in the summer of 2008 to play a handful of small club shows they had no idea on what they were about to accomplish in this country within two years.
The four fresh-faced punks born out of New Jersey delighted audiences up and down the country with their brand of soulful, Springsteen-esque punk rock.
Flash forward to 2010 and they are selling out venues wherever they go, have become Glastonbury veterans and have become household names. So when the quartet set out on a summer UK tour the anticipation was sky high.
Gaslight rolled into Manchester fresh from the release of their third studio album, American Slang, being accompanied by stellar support acts Twin Atlantic and Sharks. The former, Twin Atlantic, impressed with a solid 40-minute set capped off with the excellent Audience and Audio.
As excitement began to build for one of the most talked about bands of recent times Gaslight strolled on stage with front man Brian Fallon sporting a beaming grin across his face and opened with title track American Slang. It was evident from the beginning that the band was clearly quite confident with playing their new material and seemed to be pleased with the good reception it received from the audience.
In what was a very American Slang orientated set Fallon and co did throw in the crowd pleasers of The ’59 Sound and Great Expectations. The show could be seen as a way for the band to road test new material in preparation for a busy summer of festivals. The likes of Orphans, Boxer and the truly incredible The Spirit of Jazz seemed strong enough to become regulars in future Gaslight sets.
As the sweat dripped from the ceiling Fallon implored the audience to “dance along with him” as the band whipped out a rendition of The Who’s Baba O’Reilly before exiting.
They returned for a six-song encore including a spine tingling Here’s Lookin’ At You, Kid and an anthemic version of The Backseat. The Gaslight Anthem are a very special breed of band, a band that won’t be replicated for a very long time and a band that look eternally grateful for the success that they have managed to achieve on these shores.
Britain has fallen in love with The Gaslight Anthem and it’s easy to see why.