The Gaslight Anthem – The Met – Philadelphia, PA – 10/7/22

When The Gaslight Anthem walked off the Stone Pony Summer Stage in Asbury Park, NJ four years ago, which concluded their 10 Year Anniversary tour of the ’59 Sound, it was figured that this was their final bow until maybe a 20 Year Anniversary. Nothing was certain and nothing was known, but having to wait three years fans were pleased they were able to see their favorite band one last time. From the outside it looked like the band just wanted to celebrate a monumental album from their career by thanking the fans with shows. Then in March 2022 the Gaslight Anthem’s social media pages started showing cryptic videos with speculation being either a tour or new album. It wouldn’t take long for an official announcement, but Gaslight Anthem would confirm that they are back as a full time band with a world tour throughout 2022 and a new album in the future. The excitement could be felt everywhere, and everyone couldn’t wait to see what the next chapter held for the Gaslight Anthem.

Besides a secret show at Crossroads in Garwood, NJ, the world tour would start internationally then nationally ending in New Jersey. The second to last date of the tour would be in Philadelphia at the recently renovated Metropolitan Opera House also known as The Met. Jeff Rosenstock opened the show, but due to construction and parking, I was only able to catch the last two songs of the set. If you know Jeff Rosenstock you know his shows are always chaotic especially when he ends his set with him in the crowd playing the saxophone.

When the members of Gastlight Anthem walked onto the stage the energy between members was much different than any other time. It seems as though not being held by a record label or other music business requirements has rebirthed Gaslight Anthem into a new era. You can tell that the members are once again enjoying being in a band. Over 20 songs were played in Philadelphia ranging from Sink Or Swim to Get Hurt. Surprisingly only one song from American Slang was highlighted, “The Spirit Of Jazz”, with five songs from Get Hurt being played. Over the years fans have grown to like Get Hurt, I personally love the album, but American Slang is my favorite from Gaslight Anthem. Regardless of what they did or didn’t play, the setlist was a perfect collection of songs especially since these songs haven’t been played in years. A nice ode to The Replacements was sung during the bridge of “Blue Dahlia” when Brian Fallon sang part of “Left Of The Dial”. The other best part of a Gaslight Anthem show is Brian’s banter. Some people may not enjoy his funny comments in between songs, but it gives the show more authenticity. It shows he is human like everyone else and isn’t just up there to play songs. He wants to have an interaction with the crowd, and for this tour he wanted signs asking them to play songs. One fan requested a song for his wife, who wasn’t there but would be tomorrow at the New Jersey show, to which Brian laughed and said how about you ask tomorrow when she is here. Interactions like this are what makes going to a Gaslight Anthem show spontaneous and fun. Closing the night Gaslight Anthem played “The ’59 Sound”, but they brought out Brit Luna of Catbite to sing vocals. Lately Brian has been praising Catbite on Twitter and even though they didn’t play the show, being from Philadelphia they were in attendance. It was a perfect rendition and a great way to end the night. If you don’t know Catbite, check them out and you can look through my photography page for I have photographed them multiple times. They are one of the best ska bands currently out there now. As for Gaslight Anthem, it looks like 2023 will have them recording their next release and hopefully we will have a new song out by the end of the year. I am sure whatever they put out, it will be as great as all their other releases, but what is more important is that they are back.

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