The Gaslight Anthem – o2 Academy, Glasgow, 19/10/12



The Gaslight Anthem returned to these shores for their first gig in a couple of years, and judging by my late dash around eBay and Gumtree to find tickets, their return was eagerly awaited. It’s been a few years now since I picked up ‘The 59 Sound’ and fell in love with the catchy riffs and lyrics harking back to a bygone age of 50’s movies, old cars and their musical idols. The New Jersey band have grown in popularity ever since, with shows at increasingly large venues culminating in tonight’s sold out show at the O2 Academy.

We were too late in arriving to catch the two support acts, Dave Hause and Blood Red Shoes, but managed to pick up a couple of (ridiculously priced – over £4 a pint!!) drinks before the band started. The Academy itself is a venue I share a bit of a love/hate relationship with, but it was on top form for tonight’s show and benefited greatly by an excited and packed audience. There was a sense of great anticipation (or should I say ‘Great Expectations’) around the venue as we settled into a decent viewing position, and a huge roar went up as Brian Fallon and co took to the stage at around 9.15pm, blasting straight into new album track ‘Mae’.

The setlist was heavily laden with tracks from the new record ‘Handwritten’, and judging from the reaction of the crowd, the new album has gone down just as well as its predecessors with tracks such as ‘45’ and ‘Mulholland Drive’ drawing great sing-alongs from the crowd. There wasn’t a great deal of time for banter as the band raced through as many songs as they could, although Fallon did find time to have a little joke at Justin Bieber’s expense “Booing for Justin Bieber is like cheering for pizza. Does everybody like pizza?” much to the delight of the crowd. Tracks such  as ‘Great Expectations’ and ‘American Slang’ had the whole crowd jumping, before taking it down a notch for the excellent ‘Here’s Looking at You, Kid’. It’s a sign of a good band when the setlist is excellent, yet you can still pick out tracks that are missing, with third album ‘American Slang’ getting particularly short shrift in that regard.

The encore featured a couple of tracks off the debut album, ‘Sink or Swim’, as well as a Bob Dylan cover, before finishing a superb set with crowd favourite ‘The Backseat’. It was great to have them back playing live in Scotland, and terrific to see such a large following turn out to see the band perform. Make a date in your diary to catch them live the next time they play near you, I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.


  1. Mae
  2. The 59 Sound
  3. Howl
  4. American Slang
  5. Here Comes My Man
  6. Handwritten
  7. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
  8. Angry Johnny and the Radio
  9. Biloxi Parish
  10. 45
  11. Too Much Blood
  12. Senor and the Queen
  13. Mulholland Drive
  14. Keepsake
  15. Wooderson
  16. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
  17. Here’s Looking at You, Kid
  18. Great Expectations
  19. She Loves You
  20. Changing of the Guards (Bob Dylan cover)
  21. Boomboxes and Dictionaries
  22. Drive
  23. The Backseat


Luke Watson

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