Saturday, March 21, 2015

Gaslight Anthem Live in Edmonton March 16th 2015

On Monday night my buddy Buzzard, Cuz and I went to the Gaslight Anthem concert at Union Hall here in Edmonton. The opening bands on this bill were Sammy Kay and Northcote.

I was interested in checking out the first band of the night, a band from New Jersey called Sammy Kay. With tickets saying doors open at 8pm, I wanted to be sure to be there early. Thanks to Facebook, earlier in the day they posted set times for the bands, well it looked like Sammy was going to be on stage at 8pm. Well we got there right at 8, only to find that the band was already playing, we didn't miss much. But for those that didn't know about set times, they would have missed their whole set as they were done by 8:30. Lots of people must have heard about the set times, as the venue was quite packed by the time we got there. Or maybe, lots of people were already there cause they know what a shitty venue this place is for concerts and had been there before and got there early so that they could find a seat or standing place where they could actually see the stage. With a capacity of about a thousand people, I am guessing no more then half that crowd can actually see the stage.

The first band up as I already mentioned was New Jersey band Sammy Kay. While I thought they were alright. I probably would have enjoyed them more had they not been opening for Gaslight Anthem, as they sounded just like Gaslight. The lead singer Sammy Kay even looked like and had the same stage presence as Gaslight's Brian Fallon. Overall they just came across as a Gaslight light. I did like their cover of the Tom Waits song Old Shoes. Sammy did say that this was the biggest audience they had performed in front of. The whole band seemed to enjoy themselves and were really taking in the experience of playing to this many people.

Sammy Kay at Union Hall.

Next up was the Canadian band Northcote based out of Victoria, B.C. The band is lead by the gentle giant Matt Goud. This was my first time seeing them in concert, and thought they were pretty good. Matt has a good voice and his back up band were decent too. Matt did do a few songs by himself just on acoustic. I myself enjoyed him more with a full band behind him. All and all not bad.

Northcote at Union Hall.

By the time headliners Gaslight Anthem hit the stage the place was packed, packed to the point where you could barely move in the place. If you weren't situated somewhere in front of the stage or in the balcony looking down on the stage, you weren't going to see much, as the sight lines in this place are horrible, as is the sound there. The sound was muddy unless again you were in front of the stage. I did manage to get around the venue a bit trying to find a place where you could see the stage and get a decent sound, but it was super hard to find. Really, this place blows as a live music venue.

Nonetheless, Gaslight Anthem played for close two hours. And this being my fifth time seeing them perform, this was one of their weaker shows I have seen. For starters, I'm not a big fan of their newest album Get Hurt in which they are touring for. But thankfully they only did one song from that album. The audience were getting off on the music good singing along, which was nice as the vocals were drowned in the mix.

I got the feeling that lead singer Brian Fallon just didn't seem to be in to the show on this night. There was very little crowd interaction as Brian said next to nothing all night, instead just playing song after song, which is alright too. Just not what I am used to having seen them play enough times. The band did play quite a few songs from their first two albums Sink Or Swim and The '59 Sound which was great, if only the sound had been better. I was surprised to see them cover the Pink Floyd song Wish You Were Here. Gaslight are usually good for playing at least one cover every performance and this one was a surprise. It was alright, not great though. There was no encore on this night, which was ok, as they played for almost two hours straight. All and all this show would have been a whole lot better in a decent venue. Good times!!!

Gaslight Anthem at Union Hall.

Setlist for Edmonton show.

1,000 Years
The '59 Sound
Biloxi Parish
Stray Paper
Old Haunts
The Spirit of Jazz
Great Expectations
Helter Skeleton
Say I Won't (Recognize)
Have Mercy
Wish You Were Here
Film Noir
Astro Zombies
I Coul'da Been a Contender
Sweet Morphine
Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
The Diamond Church Street Choir
American Slang
We're Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner

Limited edition poster.

T-shirt front.


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