The Gaslight Anthem - Marquee Theatre - 4/23/2013
That was not the case at Marquee Theatre Tuesday night. The Gaslight Anthem's fanbase showed what live music should be about. No matter how old or new a song was, they sang along enthusiastically all night.
This show was also a reminder of why I got into this profession. Sure, it's awesome to go to a bunch of concerts with camera in hand, but all too often I've been underwhelmed by some of my favorite bands. Most shows are decent or good, leaving terrible and amazing concerts to fall on opposite ends of the bell curve.
At their best, concerts are interactive experiences. Just about anyone can learn to play guitar and write mediocre songs, but it takes skill and talent to find that something special that resonates with an audience after the tinnitus wears off. Nostalgic rockers The Gaslight Anthem have that quality. Some shows are better than others, but last night's performance could very well have been the best of the six shows I've seen them put on.
Read More: The Gaslight Anthem's Benny Horowitz talks Handwritten and SB 1070.
The Gaslight Anthem @ Marquee Theatre, 4/23/13 (Slideshow)
And the biggest difference from those shows -- at Mesa Amphitheatre, Martini Ranch, Clubhouse, and even Tuesday night's venue, the Marquee Theatre -- was the crowd's response. Fans were deafening during songs like "45" and "Great Expectations," which are truly anthemic. Joining in with a chorus of strangers is a powerful feeling -- the only things that come close are singing church hymns or loudly (and poorly) singing in the shower when nobody else is home.
The Gaslight Anthem sounded solid, as they usually do. Singer/guitarist Brian Fallon changed the pacing of some songs and allowed fans to sing in his place at times, in the case of "Here Comes My Man." Fallon showed his strengths as a solo artist with "National Anthem" and "She Loves You," a b-side from American Slang.