the Gaslight Anthem

By: Elizabeth Wiltshire

Fenway-Kenmore felt more like New Brunswick, NJ last Monday night when The Gaslight Anthem brought their ’59 Sound anniversary tour to the House of Blues in Boston. This is the first tour for these New Jersey punk rockers since their 2015 hiatus, and they certainly came back with a bang.

The show started with a performance from melodic punk band, Worriers. I had seen Worriers once before, and I can say with certainty that they just keep getting better and better. Their Brooklyn spirit and energy was clear in this performance and they were obviously very excited to be opening up for TGA. Their set included the songs “They/Them/Theirs” and “Future Me,” both well-received by the crowd. They were a solid choice to kick off the night and they definitely gained many new fans that night.

Following Worriers’s strong set was a performance by Canadian singer-songwriter, Matt Mays. I had never heard of him until that night, and he is incredibly underrated. He has the stage presence of a rock star, strong vocals, and a versatile sound. Songs of his such as “Take It On Faith” and “City of Lakes” have some Wintersleep and Arkells vibes to them, which made them a great choice to open for TGA. At one point in the set, Brian Fallon ran on stage and kissed Matt on the cheek, much to the enjoyment and excitement of the crowd. Overall, Matt Mays had a killer performance and got his name out there. Here’s to hoping he gets the recognition he deserves.

After Matt Mays, the crowd grew increasingly antsy until The Gaslight Anthem took the stage around 10. Despite this being the 10 year anniversary of “The ’59 Sound,” they kicked off their set with “Handwritten,” “Wooderson,” “The Spirit of Jazz,” and “Mae” before launching into “The ’59 Sound” in full. Seeing a band play any album in full is an incredible experience, but TGA’s sophomore album is so transformative and such an amazing work of art that hearing it live and in full is a life-changing experience.

Although this was the band’s first tour since their hiatus, it felt as if no time had passed. Frontman Brian Fallon is still the outspoken New Jerseyan that everyone’s come to love, and the band hasn’t lost any of their energy and excitement. They performed “The ’59 Sound” impeccably, and followed it with a variety of other songs (such as “Too Much Blood” and “45”), finally closing their 28-song set with “American Slang” a little after midnight. By the end of the show, everyone was covered in a mix of sweat and beer but had the biggest grins on their faces and they discussed the show in voices hoarse from screaming. In other words, it was an ideal night.  Although the tour has unfortunately concluded, be sure to stay updated with The Gaslight Anthem via their website and socials.

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