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The Gaslight Anthem party like it's 2008 at intimate New York date

Live Review

Venue: Webster Hall, New York

New Jersey rockers largely ignore new album in favour of classics-led set

The Gaslight Anthem might be on tour to promote last year's fifth full-length, 'Get Hurt', but for the vast majority of tonight's (relatively) intimate gig it’s almost as if the New Jersey band have forgotten it exists. In fact, they play just four songs from that record, giving the night a strange sense of being trapped in the past, or at least in the memory of it.

The band kick off with what's probably still their best-known song, the title track of 2008's breakthrough second record, The '59 Sound, its chorus soaring into the ornate balconies that overlook the stage on either side. After that, there’s barely room to pause for a while – an impassioned rendition of 1930, a song from 2007's debut album Sink Or Swim about frontman Brian Fallon’s grandmother’s battle with Alzheimer's, is quickly followed by High Lonesome and then Handwritten, the title track from 2012’s fourth record, before a one-two punch of Old White Lincoln and Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. That’s four songs in six from The ’59 Sound, and the assured, convincing way in which the band dispense with them almost make it feel like it’s 2008 again. Certainly, the power and pull of those songs hasn’t diminished over time in the slightest – if anything, they sound as vital as ever, and serve as a powerful reminder of both how and why the band received the attention and acclaim they did upon the release of that record.

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