What do you get when New Jersey natives, The Gaslight Anthem, set out on a tour of smaller clubs and venues to support their upcoming fourth album because they want “to trim it back and remind [them]selves what it’s like to play in a smaller place and have a blast?” Well, for starters you get a sold out tour.
There’s something about The Gaslight Anthem that makes me think of another time. Maybe it’s the lyrics that transport me back to when men worked on cars with packs of cigarettes tucked into the sleeve of their white t-shirts and girls snuck Elvis records into their bedrooms away from the watchful eyes of their parents.
I can’t quite pinpoint what it is, exactly, that makes me feel this way, particularly when I’m standing in the middle of a sold out Independent in San Francisco rocking and rolling to a set drenched heavily in punk rock with a side of Jersey Shore.
Philly native Dave Hause opened the show, braving the crowd with just his guitar and a smile. If it felt like Hause might be more at ease with a band alongside him, it may be because he’s only recently (in the past couple of years) broken away from his band, The Loved Ones, to explore the solo scene.
Hause is currently in the midst of releasing a series of five 7″s, each on a different record label. The first of the series was a Record Store Day exclusive release, with each subsequent 7″ in the five part series being released monthly. The fourth, and most recent, single is set for release July 10. You can order it here.
After what seemed like a longer than usual intermission for such a small club, the crowd began to grow restless, chanting for The Gaslight Anthem to come out on stage. When, at last, they did, they did not disappoint. They charged through their set effortlessly, giving the crowd a nice selection from their previous three albums as well as a taste of their upcoming album, Handwritten, due out July 24th on Mercury Records.
It would be easy to compare the band to Springsteen, and many have—so many that in interviews band members won’t even discuss it, though they don’t deny it. There is more to The Gaslight Anthem, though, than the Jersey sound. On stage Fallon speaks to the influences of American Steel, Joe Strummer, and The Clash.
At times the crowd seemed to feel lead singer Brian Fallon was taking a bit too much time chatting with the pretty girls in the front row, or joking with the wait staff and his band mates between songs. You can’t really blame him considering they barreled through twenty-one songs with pounding precision and mind blowing heart and soul.
Highlights of the show included fan favorites “Great Expectations,” “Casanova, Baby,” “American Slang” and an absolutely incredible cover of “House of the Rising Sun.”
If you didn’t get tickets to this tour, don’t worry; they’ll be back, playing larger venues again soon. In the meantime, check out their new single “45” available for streaming on their website.