The New Jersey quartet storm the Bristol O2 Academy stage on a wet and cold March evening. The night started off with an explosive performance by the rock ‘n’ roll duo from Canada, ‘Japandroids’, who although only a duo, created an energy which showed they don’t need to be a stereotypical band to break on to the music scene. As they play through their tracks, they show that they have their minds set on bigger stages, however no matter how much they try tonight, the crowd just don’t feel the full impact of their music, as they more or less stand still throughout their set.
After a half hour wait the crowd finally get what they came here for tonight, the blues-rock ‘n’ roll band, ‘The Gaslight Anthem’. A hall full of cheers as they begin their set with ‘High Lonesome’, the track gets the entire room singing along with fists pumping in the air.
The band play through some of their greatest songs from their last three albums, much to the audience’s enjoyment. Songs such as: Handwritten, 45, Orphans and Old White Lincoln get the crowd jumping and at some points a pit is even opened up. Whilst others songs: Great Expectations, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Miles Davis and the Cool create sing-alongs which echo throughout the academy. The crowd also get a special treat with a cover of ‘The Animals’ song ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and ‘Señor and the Queen’, a track from their four-song EP.
Although they did bring a huge show to the stage, the only minor aspects which the band could have improved on was that the interaction with the audience could have been better, and no tracks from their powerful 2005 début album, ‘Sink or Swim’, were played.
These are only slight criticisms though, and it really is hard to complain when the band come back on for an encore of some of their best songs, ending their own tracks with ‘The ’59 Sound’, if there is one fan in the audience who is not singing during this song, then it would seem that they are at the wrong concert.
The night comes to an end with the band playing an anthem which is known throughout the entire crowd, ‘Baba O’Riley’ by ‘The Who’, and the boys pull it off perfectly. Not only with lead singer, Brian Fallon, being on par with Roger Daltrey’s vocals, but also with the explosive outro, which saw Fallon smashing the drums with the rest of the band playing their hearts out, ending an evening of blues-rock ‘n’ roll.
The full setlist for the show is as follows:
Old White Lincoln
Senor and the Queen
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
House of the Rising Sun (The Animals cover)
Miles Davis and the Cool
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
She Loves You
Here Comes My Man
The ’59 Sound
Baba O’Riley (The Who cover)