The Gaslight Anthem >> rolled through the desert again on Monday as they sweep up the left coast on their Get Hurt album tour. Wednesday they headlined a fuck yeah fantastic show at Marquee Theatre in Tempe that also featured the new identity of Against Me! who are tagging along on Gaslight's city to city journey this Fall.
It seems like just yesterday the Gaslight Anthem was on tour for The '59 Sound in like 2008 when they crushed a set at Martini Ranch in Scottsdale for 100 or so people. That show transformed me from listener to super fan pretty much instantly.
The other night in Tempe, a few songs from that killer album blissfully made their way into a set list that was predominantly Get Hurt heavy, understandably. Their new album is really good but it's not as upbeat as I'm accustomed to with GLA and that's the type of shit I love to experience at their live shows. They did, however, manage to shred to the max and keep it as upbeat as they could so adding in a few storytelling sessions, the show turned out incredible.
After 'Mulholland Drive', lead singer Brian Fallon told us how happy they were to visit Tempe again. They had just wrapped up the California leg of the tour and he appreciates how not-California it is out here in the desert, whatever that means.
Brian also acknowledged the 20-something 20-somethings front and center stage, shouting out their favorite songs they wanted to hear. He then soothed their angst with assurance that all those belted track names were indeed on their set list, confirming he would get to all of them but the sequence was in such an order that aligned with their set list feng shui - which he explained later was nothing merely than a jambalaya of songs they like to play. Well played, Brian and well played they did.
They played with so much genuine energy in Tempe that night. Not like they were dancing around everywhere about the stage, but the energy they projected with each instruments' sound and the passionate vocals just energized everyone in the joint. Much different from their set at Coachella last year, which was pretty mellow - or maybe it was me and I just wasn't feeling it since it was Sunday afternoon when I was at the peak of the 3rd installment of my sweaty hellish hangover.
Oh and they ended their set with a cover of The Who - that 'Teenage Wasteland' song which I just found out is not really called that and is actually called 'Baba O'Riley' which I don't really understand but whatever. That fucking ruled and they fucking rule so def check these guys out when they play at a venue near you.
P.S. Against Me! was really really good too but it took me a few songs for my ears and eyes to get over the mindfuck that is newly transformed frontwoman Laura Jane Grace still singing in pre-Transgender Dysphoria Blues frontman Tom Gabel's voice - you know, from back in the New Wave days when she was a dude. Get past that and then you'll be able to enjoy your face getting shredded the fuck off.
Setlist: Stay Written * Handwritten * Rollin' and Tumblin' * Mulholland Drive * Helter Skeleton * Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis? * Old Haunts * 45 * Underneath the Ground * The Diamond Church Street Choir * Get Hurt * Even Cowgirls Get the Blues * Stray Paper * Ain't That a Shame * She Loves You * Dark Places * ENCORE: Wooderson * Film Noir * Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts * The '59 Sound * Baba O'Riley