Sunday, July 8
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Sunday, July 8 The Crocodile
The Gaslight Anthem
Sunday, July 8
There are way worse curses than having nearly every piece of your press be linked to Bruce Springsteen. But ever since The Gaslight Anthem caught the attention music writers with 2008's The '59 Sound, the band has been called the punk rock Springsteen -- and not just because they both hail from New Jersey. The Boss and the Anthem share plenty of musical footing, but rather than skirt the comparisons, the band embrace them, having hired Springsteen's long-time producer, Brendan O'Brien, to produce their new record Handwritten. And Bruce approves too. He asked the band to open a handful of shows and has even joined them on stage.
Alas, there was no Springsteen in attendance at the band's sold out show Sunday night at the Crocodile, but his working class spirit and feel-good live show were both on display. Touring in advance of their fourth LP, which is out July 24th, the Gaslight Anthem are playing a string of dates in smaller venues, which made for an intimate evening. The Crocodile was packed and sweaty as friends embraced each other and sang along to the band's set, which focused heavily on The '59 Sound and 2010's American Slang, the latter of which seemed poised to turn the band into major rock stars, but which never happened. Critics praised the record but larger success eluded the band, which could explain why Handwritten sounds more like '59 Sound, at least if the handful of tracks the band played from it last night are any indication, including the first single "45," a rollicking punk rock song about putting the past behind you.
Singer Brian Fallon was noticeably hoarse when he spoke to the crowd, though his singing voice seemed no worse for the wear. He teased Seattleites for the "Seattle freeze," the act of being politely standoffish. He also relayed a story involving a friend who was smoking on the street in Seattle when someone passed by and fake coughed at them in disapproval. "You'd get knifed in the neck for that shit in New York," he teased. "And then they'd stick your cigarette in the hole."
At the encore break, fans chanted "Gaslight, Gaslight, Gaslight," and the band returned to play another batch of songs, including several early tracks that they said they hadn't played in years. Though the set never approached Springsteen-like lengths, the band played a robust set to an appreciative crowd -- and one that seemed to understand that they might not be able to see the band in a venue of that size again anytime soon.
Singer-songwriter Dave Hause opened, playing a solid solo set that mixed songs from his solo debut Resolutions with selections from his punk rock band The Loved Ones, whom he said "hasn't done shit in a while."
Overheard at the show: "It's a tie between Brian Fallon and Aaron Lewis of Staind for the most emotional singer I've ever seen live. I thought the dude from Staind was going to have an emotional breakdown right there on stage."
Tour souvenirs: Brian Fallon told fans he collects "those stupid Starbucks mugs" from the various cities he visits and that was stoked to get the one from the place where Starbucks was invented.