The Gaslight Anthem

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author PP date 04/11/10 venue Lille Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

I have to say it really sucks that Pumpehuset is closed. The Gaslight Anthem show was originally booked to Lille Vega, where max capacity is 500, a massive underestimation of their mainstream popularity in Denmark from the bookers. The show sold out in mere two weeks after the release of tickets, with no venue upgrade in sight given another planned show in Store Vega on the same date. It's unusual to see loads of people waiting outside this venue with signs like "I need a ticket", but tonight was clearly an exception, since no other suitable venue of around 1,000-1,500 people exists in the country. It's awesome for us with tickets (or press-access as is the case for us journalists), because we get to witness a packed, electrified show in an intimate venue with mostly big Gaslight fans present, but for everyone else, it's tough luck. To add to the insult, the coinciding show at Store Vega had an extensive production attached to it, which for some reason prevented any show from starting at the smaller venue before 23:00. Hence, no Chuck Ragan or Sharks on the Danish stop of the tour, or any other support for that matter.

The Gaslight Anthem

The other worry was that the late starting time would prevent Gaslight from playing the 23-26 songs on average as on the rest of the tour. We didn't quite get that far, but 21 songs and a slightly altered setlist from Malmö last week annulled any complaints I might have had. The room is packed to its limits when they kick off, but as has become the norm rather than the exception, most people are content at just standing still and lightly moving to the rhyhtm of the song. That probably has something to do with the average age at tonight's show, which is closer to 30+ given the old school Springsteen fans in heavy presence tonight. No matter, I can enjoy Gaslight by myself, especially when they play so tightly and with such a casual, intimate attitude all night. Brian Fallon appears as down to earth as ever, and tonight reads among his most talkative nights I've experienced with him. He goes on at length to remember the last time they played at Lille Vega with Frank Turner, when Frank accidentally announced he was happy to be playing in Stockholm, which the crowd wasn't particularly happy about, telling everyone that Frank still talks about that incident and feels all bad about it. For a couple of minutes, he talks about his relationship with Frank and other small details that make this show feel a little bit more special. When he sees the balcony, he says the band refers to it as "the michael jackson" at every venue because of the way he held the baby up high. Then he talks about the sex shops and bright neon porn lights near Istedgade and around, saying where he comes from, if you even mention the word of sex you're a blasphemer of some sort.

Small stories like these is what makes Gaslight Anthem so fun to watch in a club, because it feels like we're a special crowd for the band. A rare experience from a band as successful in the mainstream as Gaslight, for sure. The crowd seems to be taking it all in, enjoying all the songs despite almost complete lack of a singalong, that is, until we get to "Great Expectations", "59 Sound" and "American Slang", all songs which seem to surprise the band by their volume of sing-along. Later on, Brian pulls out his harmonica to do a full scale intro to "She Loves You" to complete an awesome night of punk rock gone mainstream, but in a good way. It's shows like this one that keep making me go back to Gaslight shows, despite their oftentimes lacklustre festival performances.

8

Setlist:

1. The Spirit Of Jazz (i didn't start taking notes here yet so this is a guess)

2. Boxer

3. The Diamond Street Church Choir

4. 1930

5. High Lonesome

6. Bring It On

7. Old White Lincoln

8. Even Cowgirls Get The Blues

9. Film Noir

10. Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts

11. The Queen Of Lower Chelsea

12. We Did It When We Were Young

13. Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?

14. We Came To Dance

15. Miles Davies And The Cool

16. Great Expectations

17. The '59 Sound

--Encore--

18. She Loves You

19. American Slang

20. Here's Looking At You, Kid

21. The Backseat

Photos by Lykke Nielsen @ Rockfreaks.net

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