Wow, typing this made me realize I went through most of May without going to a single show. Luckily, last Thursday, The Gaslight Anthem played what will probably be their smallest Philly show in a long time. This band is blowing up like crazy, and their new record will only propel that ascent to the bigger clubs and "punk" venues that cities have. So, I decided to skip Blacklisted and Paint it Black and in NJ to catch Gaslight on one of their last "intimate" shows.
I'm glad I did.
Scream Hello opened, and although I was unfamiliar with them, I had a good idea of what to expect. They hail from New Brunswick, and come from a variety of other bands I'm semi-familiar with. I was told they sound a bit like Braid or more aggressive Get Up Kids, and that was pretty spot on. They opened with good energy, and sounded tight, even if the vocals were a bit low in the mix, and their songs had a tendency to run a bitttt long. Overall though, I was really impressed. They have a new full length on the way which should be good and I'm excited to hear it. I'll definitely check this band out when they play the area again.
After a delay that was a bit too long, The Gaslight Anthem started up with the opening notes of their 2007 full length, Sink or Swim. From minute one, kids were screaming at the top of their lungs and the temperature of Disgraceland skyrocketed. They played a tight set, mixing most of the songs from the LP, as well as three songs from their recent EP. I was bummed that they didn't play "Senor and the Queen," but hearing "Blue Jeans" live was great, and fairly unexpected. As they did a few months ago, they slipped in a bit of "Stand by Me" between their upbeat storytelling punk anthems, and closed with "We're Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner," which had kids screaming "It's all right, man. I'm only bleeding, man. Stay hungry, stay free, and do the best you can." If you get a chance, check these guys out as soon as you can. Don't say I didn't warn you when they're playing huge venues on their next time around.