The Gaslight Anthem at Alexandra Palace, London: Event Review

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Playing their biggest UK show to date, The Gaslight Anthem brought their famed Jersey Shore sound to London’s Alexandra Palace on Wednesday November 19th. The New Jersey four-piece took a clearcut approach as they powered through an impressive 26-song set, covering a vast selection from their debut album, Sink or Swim, to their latest release, Get Hurt.

The night had an unexpected peaceful start as the Jersey boys opened with “Have Mercy”, accompanied by a hypnotic array of purple lighting in which the audience slowly swayed side-to-side. As the song drew to a close, the lights went out and the opening riff of “The ’59 Sound” echoed throughout the palace, with an explosion of strobe lighting erupting and the curtain falling to reveal the Get Hurt backdrop. The crowd remained energetic as they went on to play “Handwritten”.

Front man Brian Fallon appeared quite bashful as he addressed the audience, stating “I’m glad you didn’t find something better to do tonight”. Carrying on their no-nonsense approach, Fallon went on to ask the crowd – “Do you mind if we power straight through some rock n roll tonight?” as they burst into “Old White Lincoln” followed by “1,000 Years”.

The light show itself was a spectacular event. The atmosphere of each song was perfectly captured – from the hard hitting “45” being accompanied by a mass amount of white strobe beating down on the audience, to the more intimate song “Get Hurt” having a soft blue glow shining from behind the band, outlining their silhouettes.        

Having spent most of their career being compared to Bruce Springsteen, The Gaslight Anthem took a leaf out of The Boss’ book and played a set to please all fans from old to new which went on to include “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues”, “Helter Skeleton”, “Blue Dahlia”, “Underneath The Ground”, “1930”, “HereComes My Man”, “Film Noir”, “Selected Poems”, “Biloxi Parish”, “Angry Johnny And The Radio”, “Great Expectations”, “Old Haunts”, “Sweet Morphine”, “The Diamond Church Street Choir”, “American Slang”, “Wooderson”, “We’re Getting A Divorce, You Keep The Diner” and “She Loves You”. With very little pauses between each song, Fallon stared out and admired the structure of Alexandra Palace saying “This place is cool” and told the fans to “Get home safe” as they ended with “The Backseat”.

For a band capable of selling out arenas it’s great to see The Gaslight Anthem make their shows solely about the music. They do not mess around with fillers or gimmicks, giving the fans exactly what they want – they are truly a must see live.