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Gaslight Anthem / Frank Turner

Gaslight Anthem / Frank Turner: live in Birminghamlive in Birmingham (2009)
Side One Dummy Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: chrisafichrisafi
(others by this writer | submit your own)

After the UK ground to a complete halt because of a few measly inches of snow, the first date of this tour got cancelled. It didn't bother me, though, because it meant the show I was going to in Birmingham became the opening show of a tour which, by the end, will have looped around most of Western E.


After the UK ground to a complete halt because of a few measly inches of snow, the first date of this tour got cancelled. It didn't bother me, though, because it meant the show I was going to in Birmingham became the opening show of a tour which, by the end, will have looped around most of Western Europe, hitting 12 countries, before ending back up in UK again next month.

Anyway, before I begin, I will point out that I have deliberately reviewed the show backwards. Why? No, not because I'm being pretentious or making a profound statement about the fickleness of music fans or a protest against the rapid ascension of the tour headliners the Gaslight Anthem, but simply because everyone reading this has either a) already seen Gaslight live or b) already read multiple reviews of their live show.

So, last out came the Gaslight Anthem. I was slightly bemused by the fact that they had towels put out on stage by their roadie during the soundcheck. I mean, towels? Are towels punk rock? I don't think so. Maybe Towelie from South Park is, but that's about it. Anyway, leaving towels behind us, Gaslight gave everything you can expect from a live Gaslight show: excellence. After taking a few songs to warm up themselves and warm up the crowd, "The '59 Sound" saw the place go mental and the charged atmosphere remained throughout their set, which was played at breakneck speed. There was still time, however, for Brian Fallon to reinforce his reputation for saying weird things on stage, the quote of the night being "I like Australians...you know they fight kangaroos?" A three-song encore including "Boomboxes and Dictionaries" brought the curtain down on a great night.

But before the Gaslight had hit the stage, one of the most exciting and fantastic talents the UK has to offer strolled on stage. With just a cheap chequered shirt and an electro-acoustic guitar, Frank Turner whizzed through a collection of old and new songs to a room of adoring fans. A bonus treat for the audience came in the form of a new song titled "Try This at Home," from his next album (which he revealed would be out in September). The song was fantastic -- a fast-paced rant against the predictability of the musical world and 'rockstar celebrities' (I think, although I might be wrong after just one listen). I'm gutted I'll probably have to wait over six months to hear it again. All in all, Frank was flawless, putting his heart and soul into every word as he took the audience on a tour of anger, friendship, love, hate, hope, reflection and loss. If he ever comes to a town near you (and with his touring credentials he probably will), just make sure you go.

First Out? Polar Bear Club, for their first ever show in the UK. I'll be honest, whilst I'm familiar with the band's music, I had no idea what they looked like and frontman Jimmy Stadt really does not look like his voice. For a split second I thought he was just one of those annoying young scene kid photographers you get at most shows these days. My bad. However, his unique vocal sound held up very well live. Hitting the stage at 7:30, the room was unfortunately about half-empty from what it would be later, and well over half of the people there had obviously no idea who they were. But did Polar Bear Club care? No. All smilies and maximum effort was what they gave the crowd and it was obvious that they were simply five guys having a great time, playing their music. "Hollow Place" and closer "The Bug Parade" were the standout tracks, from a very exciting and exceptionally tight outfit, who I'm sure will be playing to much larger, more receptive audiences in the UK when they come over next time.

All in all? Three bands. Three fantastic performances. One very happy fan.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Gaslight Anthem - The '59 SoundApologies, I Have None - Sat in Vicky Park b/w Joiners & Windmills [7 inch]The Gaslight Anthem - Señor and the QueenThe Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimBouncing Souls - The Gold RecordBouncing Souls - Hopeless RomanticBouncing Souls - Anchors AweighGallows - Grey BritainNew Found Glory - Not Without a FightRolo Tomassi - Hysterics

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thatsyouth (February 10, 2009)

Polar Bear Club is fucking great. I saw them two nights in a row back a couple months ago. They only played Most Miserable Life on one of the nights but fuck, I am still gizzing my pants over it. Everything they have done is fantastic. And I was pretty shocked when I saw Jimmy for the first time too. He goes off though.

oh and gaslight is cool too. Score is for the Election Day.

essenceoftong (February 10, 2009)

re...." I'm gutted I'll probably have to wait over six months to hear it again."

no you won't mate :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7u3Tb7MDbjY

TheKidsSuck (February 9, 2009)

I bet the show was great. Your review is fucking weak as shit.

parishiltonisametaphor (February 9, 2009)

Extremely soft, red and crimson towels in London as well. Score is for the (obvious?) choice of the concluding song.

magneticbedhead (February 8, 2009)

No score for this show. Posting was shut off for the Deftones post. Just wanted to say that it's absolutely fucking disgusting how some people can write the things they did. I hope one day you don't have to deal with someone in a coma or any other condition requiring life support. It's indescribable. Fucking cocksuckers.

friokir (February 8, 2009)

million dead was awesome (I got to see them live, yay!), but gaslight anthem? not so much

travis---- (February 8, 2009)

who gives a fuck if towels are punk or not aha.

chrisafi (February 8, 2009)

a) most bands i watch don't have towels

b) last time I saw Gaslight they definetely didn't have towels.

c) these weren't just any ordinary towels. They were seriously boom towels. I wanted those towels to wipe my balls on.

All the above just made it an interesting observation that's all, don't get your thong up your asscrack boys

bigbuzzaldrin (February 7, 2009)

have you ever played a guitar? have you ever played a guitar REALLY sweaty?

shit doesn't work well together. dont be stupid.

holy_balls (February 7, 2009)

that towel comment was stupid. if it was a person, i would punch it.

TommyPickles (February 7, 2009)

I really want to see Polar Bear Club

scientistrock (February 7, 2009)

My grandfather's friend boxed a kangaroo while on shore leave during world war II. Why is there a "buy this record" button?

elliot (February 7, 2009)

Towels are completely normal to have on stage. Any band that knows anything about being an actual band has them ready to go. Stop trying to out things for not being punk enough.

insinceredave (February 7, 2009)

I went to the manchester leg of this tour and it was really good. Polar Bear Club rocked, Frank, as good as his songs are can come across pretty pretentious and as for Gaslight, well there is no stopping them.

mikexdude (February 7, 2009)

Haha mikexdude it seems like you may actually like Polar Bear Club as much as I do, which is an awesome first.

I hope not; it's a little disgusting how much I like them.

http://www.punknews.org/article/31861

eazyd2 (February 7, 2009)

yeah his cheap check shirt probably cost about $140. that cunt is a fuckin poseur. score is for cowbell.

damnitsderek (February 7, 2009)

This interview included Polar Bear Club and Towelie.

Infinity stars.

defianceohioequalslove (February 7, 2009)

Haha mikexdude it seems like you may actually like Polar Bear Club as much as I do, which is an awesome first.

Their set at this past Fest was mindblowing, and tied with Strike Anywhere for the best set of the entire fest (tied with fuckin strike anywhere man! thats sayin somethin!). Such a special band.

mikexdude (February 7, 2009)

Soo good.

mikexdude (February 7, 2009)

Soo good.

mikexdude (February 6, 2009)

Did I mention that Polar Bear Club is amazing?

jacknife737 (February 6, 2009)

Hey man, there ain't nothing wrong about not wanting to be sweaty.

That shit is gross.

mikexdude (February 6, 2009)

Polar Bear Club is one of the best bands ever.

chrisafi (February 6, 2009)

Sorry didnt know you and Towlie were such bros

marsbar (February 6, 2009)

Score for calling Towlie punk.

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