Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Gaslight Anthem @ Terminal 5

The Gaslight Anthem; Laura Stevenson & the Cans; Matthew Ryan
@ Terminal 5
New York, NY - November 28, 2012

It proved to be a convention of the flat-capped men of modest temperament of the Mid-Atlantic and some of the women who find them pleasing. The Gaslight Anthem played so fine as expected, so measured as to be like clockwork, that it was almost a non-plus affair. Much of the set was so mild mannered, more Clark Kent than Superman, that it dragged a bit. Even the Anthem's anthem, "The '59 Sound", was a bit on the slow side. But much of the new record, Handwritten, sounded fine, the cover of Bon Iver's "Blood Bank" was excellent, and Brian Fallon is still a humble rock n' roll crackerjack. I don't know of any other band who can pull off what does this band does and be authentic at the same time. They could teach a college class about this band. But probably only at Rutgers.

Laura Stevenson & the Cans started out with one whip-snappy chugging rock-a-stomp. Then it all went the way of Dawson's Creek style pop-country. No.

Matthew Ryan is an old hand at this trade but damned if I ever heard of him before. An old friend of Fallon's, he played a very intimate set very effectively, considering the room size and he came out for the encore for an acoustic set with his chum, though that intimacy now felt like overkill. Encores should be all-out, not "time for our quiet sit down portion". Maybe I just want punk rock in my old age.


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