We find ourselves back at the Brixton academy once again. However this time unintentionally. Sadly there was a venue upgrade which caused a switch from north to south London. From the relatively small surrounds of the Kentish Town Forum to the Huge Brixton academy benefited the bands ticket sales more than crowd intimacy.
Taking advantage of the larger crowd were tonight’s support band, playing probably to their biggest audience ever. Twin Atlantic played a wide range of styles which swung from Progressive rock to Pop-centric radio friendly tunes and back with indie ethics and punk attitude. I enjoyed their set, although sometimes a bit too long was spent building up to their splendid crescendo’s. Their best song of the night was the beautiful indie prog glory of Caribbean War Syndrome.
Headlining were a band I have been a long term fan of ever since discovering them in 2007 after their debut album Sink or Swim and ivIe been following ever since. Seems this band has now firmly etered the UK public’s hearts as their arrival cued rapturous applause.
The Gaslight Anthem‘s sound is distinctive, with plenty of retro vibes dominating their live set-up. Plucking most of the nights material from their most successful albums (The 59 Sound & American Slang) was a sure bet for a great set. They played with a professional sheen, singer Brian Fallon’s vocals were sung with great heart and the ever present crowd-chorus backing.
The Gaslight Anthem
Yet my gripes with their show was too serious to overlook tonight. The band seems to have totally abandoned their early day punk influences & energetic power chords having their guitars being tuned firmly to pop. They seriously lacked enthusiasm, vigour and bite which I would have expected from them as their played a lacklustre run through of their hits.
I’m taking nothing away from their song writing talents which is as always superb with cracking tunes like the roaring Great Expectations, soaring upbeat strummer The 59′ Sound, bitter-sweet balladry on Here’s Looking At You Kid and set closer The Backseat. But yet I felt let down. Only playing 1 song from their début album (We Came To Dance) signals even clearly their direction into radio-rockcountry. Yet this New Jersey band selected a brilliant, but rather odd song for to cover tonight, The Who’s Baba O’Reilly. It was played truthfully, full of heart with plenty of passion.
Overall yhough this was merely an entertaining set which for most of the crowd was excellent! Maybe the old time fan miser in me got the better of me tonight. Hey, you can’t win them all!