Live Review: The Gaslight Anthem + Dave Hause - Enmore Theatre, Sydney (12.05.13)

gaslight anthem

Ex-The Loved Ones front man Dave Hause has come along way as a solo artist since I last saw him opening for New Jersey’s Bouncing Souls back three years ago. Back then he quietly came out, played his acoustic rock 'n’ folk numbers and left. Tonight, he worked the crowd into a healthy frenzy with good banter and songs that are easy to sing along to. Performing tracks from his solo material from the Time Will Tell record, we were treated to a version of The Loved Ones' "100K" which also included legendary Joe Strummer’s "Coma Girl" and Hold Steady’s "Constructive Summer". A good lesson for support acts, especially when you support a band with some of the most passionate and loving fans as The Gaslight Anthem.

With each tour of Australia, the size of the venue increases - from The Annandale, to The Metro, to The Enmore. It is a testament to a band that write honest rock 'n’ roll songs and play with a passion that reaches into the core of their fans. Their songs encapture a snapshot in time. You feel you are there with Brian Fallon and the boys as they play out scenes of the Jersey shoreline and of long nights out on the road, staring at the stars listening to the radio. We, the audience feel like those songs are written for us as individuals and as a collective. We are the characters and we are the songs.

The band stroll out on stage like they are getting together to play in a garage. The kick off with the one, two, three punch of "Handwritten", "Howl" and the iconic "The ’59 Sound". From that moment I was lost in the music and power and the passion of five men who just want to sing you their songs. Fallon has grown to be a great band leader and mouth piece for the band. He retells stories and anecdotes until he realises the screams were too loud so he then encourage the girls to scream more. A cheeky smile never leaves his face as they tackle tracks off The 59 Soundrecord, Senor & The Queen EP and tracks like "Biloxi Parish", "Desire" and "Too Much Blood" from last year's Handwritten album.

Each song is met with thunderous applause and a room full of people who know and sing along to every word. From my vantage point at the front of stage left, I could watch the hooded Alex Rosamina twiddle away on those classic guitar lines that enhances Gaslight’s sound. He truly is an underrated, amazingly talented guitarist. Seventeen tracks weren't enough to satiate this audience. We cried for more, hell, we demanded more. We wanted more of Alex Levine’s swagger, Benny’s perfect time keeping behind the kit and Fallon’s nicotine vocal.

What I didn’t expect was to see my favourite band come back out and perform a cover of my favourite Misfit’s track "Astro Zombie" leading into the final one, two, three punch of "1930", "Here’s Looking At You, Kid" and "The Backseat". And then, we the collective audience, were satisfied.

Rock music in its purest, is all about providing an escape. The Gaslight Anthem are the great escapists and their songs and these performances will affect the lives of those who hear them now for the rest of their lives.

Set List:

The '59 Sound
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Mulholland Drive
Biloxi Parish
Angry Johnny And The Radio / Blood Bank(Bon Iver cover)
Film Noir
Señor and the Queen
Old Haunts
The Queen of Lower Chelsea
Too Much Blood
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
Great Expectations

Astro Zombies(Misfits cover)
Here's Looking at You, Kid
The Backseat