The Gaslight Anthem at the Olympia Theatre – Review and Photos
If the queue making its way around the back of The Olympia Theatre is anything to go by, tonight is going to be a night to remember. Some of the fans have been queuing from as early as eleven o’clock in the morning and are pumped to get inside to finally see tonight’s headliners, The Gaslight Anthem. Is one to believe the hype around these guys from New Jersey? Before we can find out, it’s The Scandals time to show us what they’ve got.
The Scandals, like The Gaslight Anthem, hail from New Jersey. From the get-go, they are bursting with energy and are ready to wreak havoc on The Olympia. Their music is quite unique (almost as unique as their frontman Jared Hart’s vocal style), with grunge, punk and rock influences heard throughout, making them a versatile opening act for tonight’s show. They’re super chill and laid back guys, who are incredibly energetic all at once and it is absolutely fantastic to watch some normal guys play crazy music. As good as their set was, it was difficult at times to hear the lyrics the vocalist was singing, but this issue is completely overshadowed by Hart’s raw energy as he jumps down to the crowd to sing with them. This is a band who knows how to open a show and they’re a band to keep an eye on in the near future.
Nine o’clock rolls in and The Gaslight Anthem take to the stage, opening with ‘Handwritten’, sending The Olympia into an absolute frenzy. From the second they step on stage to the second they leave, this theatre is spirited and is ready to go nuts. Get Hurt, released last year, is the band’s fifth studio album and is probably their most heartfelt to date, with its inspiration coming from frontman Brian Fallon’s divorce from his wife. It’s hard not to respect songwriting like this; anyone can write a happy song and fake a smile, but it takes true, passionate musicians to be able to write about the nitty-gritty of life and truly mean every word they sing. This is exactly what tonight’s crowd sees watching Fallon perform songs off their latest release.
The album is a total catharsis and it shows their diversity as musicians, songwriters and performers. They play a set list that spans their entire career, with something in there for everyone, including, ‘Keepsake’, ‘Old White Lincoln’, ‘Old Haunts’, ‘Howl’, ‘45’, ‘We Came To Dance’, a cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The ’59 Sound’. At numerous stages during the night, it doesn’t even feel like you’re at a concert. It feels as though it’s a big group of friends spending time together and playing music, with Fallon telling tales of U2 and Oasis, asking the audience what songs they want to hear and even playing songs he can barely remember how to play himself (‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’). With the idolisation people have for their favourite artists, it’s so comforting to see a group of normal, down-to-earth humans behind these well known, world-recognized musicians.
Fallon declares that they’re a band who don’t do encores and play on until their curfew, which is exactly what they do. They close their performance tonight with ‘We’re Getting A Divorce, You Keep The Diner’, with Jared Hart making a return to the stage as a guest vocalist and once again, throws himself into the crowd to conclude an insane night.
The Gaslight Anthem are a band who sound as good live as they do on their records, a difficult thing to achieve when playing music like theirs. It seems as though they are almost overwhelmed by this Dublin crowds’ response to their performance and it’s safe to say that anyone at tonight’s show would be just as overwhelmed by how unbelievable The Gaslight Anthem are in all aspects. They are not a band to be missed and will hopefully return with some more great stories and even greater anthems. Believe the hype.
Photos by Tara Stanhope
Review by Shauna Collins