A Sort of Homecoming

December 14th, 2009

The Gaslight Anthem – The Wellmont Theatre – December 12, 2009

The Gaslight Anthem - The Wellmont Theatre - December 12, 2009
Friday night’s Gaslight Anthem show at The Wellmont Theatre was a welcome homecoming for a band that had been on the road supporting its breakthrough album, 2008’s The ’59 Sound, for the better part of the past year. Having already hit other Bowery Presents venues three previous times in 2009 (Webster Hall once and Terminal 5 twice), these Garden State natives decided to end the year with a Jersey celebration that brought together family, friends and fans alike.

Though Gaslight has plans for a new record in 2010, the group’s set didn’t contain any of this new material—a fact that frontman Brian Fallon credited onstage to advances in technology. Regardless, for a band with such a solid (yet limited) back catalog playing pretty much a hometown gig, this didn’t take away anything from the show, as the Gaslight Anthem played most everything they’ve ever released. The audience responded in kind, from the howling woos of “Great Expectations” to raucously belting out “The ’59 Sound.” But the older songs, particularly those off the 2007 release Sink or Swim, elicited the most crowd response. The intensity behind the shouted “two step” refrain on “We Came to Dance” and the full-chorus sing-along to “We’re Getting a Divorce, You Keep the Diner” proved there were more than just new fans at The Wellmont. The band closed the show with “Backseats,” a song that perfectly demonstrates its members’ keen understanding of loud/soft dynamics and eased down the energy for a fitting close. —Kirsten Housel

Photos courtesy of Kirsten Housel