Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem, and Hot Water Music at Mesa Amphitheatre, 9/28/12
Rise Against, The Gaslight Anthem, and Hot Water Music @ Mesa Amphitheatre, 9/28/12
Punk fans really couldn't have asked for a better line up last night. As Tim McIlrath stated in our interview, it was a dream team of sorts, with punk vets Hot Water Music kicking things off, The Gaslight Anthem performing their fourth show to date in Arizona, and Rise Against playing their first Phoenix show in three years.
See the full Rise Against/Gaslight Anthem/Hot Water Music Slideshow
Rise Against was part of The Sound Strike, an organization of artists boycotting Arizona because of controversial immigration bill, SB 1070. The Sound Strike released a statement saying it was changing its intent and bands are no longer boycotting, hence why Rise Against finally played a show last night.
See also: Rise Against's Tim McIlrath on SB 1070 and MTV
See also: Hot Water Music's Chris Wollard on Exister, The Band's First Record Without "Any Hang-Ups"
See also: The Gaslight Anthem's Benny Horowitz on Handwritten and SB 1070
I've been to four of The Gaslight Anthem's Phoenix shows (almost every time they've played here), and each holds a special memory. The Clubhouse show as the first concert I went to as a 21 year old. At Martini Ranch, frontman Brian Fallon kept talking about his Nazi-fighting grandpa and turkey sandwiches. Their last performance was at Marquee Theatre, where they played a Lucero cover as the Tempe Town Lake dam broke.
Melissa Fossum The Gaslight Anthem
With all of those great memories, I was expecting last night to once again be one for the books. It was actually the unluckiest Gaslight Anthem show I've been to, but more on that later.
Fugazi's classic jam "Waiting Room" played as The Gaslight Anthem took the stage and drummer Benny Horowitz mouthed the lyrics. The song cut out as the band tore into the title track from their third album, American Slang. Most of The Gaslight Anthem's music is rooted in nostalgia and sounds a bit like a punk rock version of Bruce Springsteen...it must be a New Jersey thing.
"American Slang" was followed by "The '59 Sound," which the sparse Gaslight Anthem fans in the crowd adored. After that, the band played a bunch of new songs, including the excellent tune about a relationship gone sour- "Mulholland Drive."
Fallon kept up with his usual wacky stage presence by saying he couldn't hear the audience because of the heat. "What would you guys do if it snowed? Someone from the east coast, bring me a snow shovel...hide in the basement, it's a tornado," he said, before talking about tarantulas and snakes, and somehow relating that all to "Film Noir."
"Noir" and "The Queen of Lower Chelsea" were sultry highlights of The Gaslight Anthem's set. They changed pace a bit with a cover of Nirvana's "Sliver," which Fallon sang quite well. The audience had a lukewarm reaction to The Gaslight Anthem overall-- some even went so far to heckle the band-- but folks seemed to enjoy the Nirvana cover.