The Gaslight Anthem

Ahhhh – the perfect Saturday nights entertainment… Popping down the Chinese for a takeaway, nipping into the off licence for a 4 pack and grabbing the latest movie from Blockbusters. Splendid! Unfortunately that’s the opening paragraph from the other website I write for – LifeofaDullard.com and thus bears no relation to the splendid night I spent at the O2 Academy Birmingham rocking out to the tremendous Gaslight Anthem.

Blood Red Shoes
Blood Red Shoes

Following parking difficulties – I ended up parking outside a strip club (noted for later visits) – I finally managed to make it into a packed Academy. I’m ashamed to say I don’t know a great deal about ‘the Anthem’ but judging by how many people were in attendance early doors it seems they are extremely popular. Even my normal speck in the bottom right hand corner where no-one ever stands was busy, as was the balcony. Grrr!

The Gaslight Anthem

Support came from the natty looking Brighton two piece Blood Red Shoes – another band that I’d not heard a great deal of. Immediately I was impressed with the diminutive songstress as she belted out power chord after power chord against the driving backdrop of her drumming cohort aided and abetted by clever use of samples and a sequencer. Kind of a cross between the Pixies and Sonic Youth.

Although a little different in style and substance from the TGA, the duo were well received by the massed ranks of Brummies in the sweaty (and getting sweatier) arena and judging by the audience reaction will be welcomed back with open arms.

The Gaslight Anthem

Next up – the main event and New Jerseys current crop of favourite sons – The Gaslight Anthem.

It may sound clichéd, but in the words of Darius Danesh there was instantly a “lotta love in the room” reciprocated between fans and band alike.

Normally it takes the crowd a few songs to get warmed up, but from the minute the American rockers made their way on to the stage it was electric. From the opening chord of ‘MAE’ and the minutes the handsome Brian Fallon belted out his first gravelly rasping note, adrenalin seemed to flow through every participant – encompassing those both on and off the stage.

The Gaslight Anthem

The band then proceeded to power through what seemed like their greatest hits back catalogue – with album tracks from their first – ‘Sink or Swim’ – through to ‘45’ off their latest offering Handwritten’ amidst vocal harmonies, head bobbing and finger pointing aplenty from their loyal fanbase.

The Gaslight Anthem

After playing for over an hour and a half – but what seemed like little more than 5 minutes – the band were heading off the stage to rapturous applause and then back on for the traditional encore – playing for me – and judging by the audience reaction – their best song ‘1930’ followed by ‘The Backseat’ and then that was it. The lights were put on, bouncers ushered people towards the door and fan after fan left the building, grinning from ear to ear at the spectacle they had just witnessed.

Gig Review by Zak Edwards
Gig Photos by Bianca Barrett

One Response to “The Gaslight Anthem + Blood Red Shoes @ The O2 Academy, Birmingham, UK – 20th October 2012”

  1. Jason Broadhurst Says:

    Saw them in Belgium on the honeymoon absolutely amazing! best i’ve seen them yet. Arenas next for them I think.

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