Punk band The Gaslight Anthem knows how to put on a show and doesn’t think twice about what day of the week it is. Was it really a Monday? The atmosphere at Headliners last week would have fooled anyone. Devout followers crammed toward the front of the stage and along the upper balcony to be part of the action. Intense, energetic, loud – the band brought Monday’s blues to a fast halt. It was the first time I had seen Headliners put up a barrier between the stage and the audience, leading me to believe that (maybe on a later day of the week) TGA fans can get a bit…rowdy. Aside from some fierce singing though, we didn’t see too much craziness from Monday’s crowd.
My music tastes have drastically changed over the years. Like many digital libraries, mine has just kept growing, without deleting songs that probably should be expunged by now. But keeping those tracks from my teenage years allows me to elicit memories that I otherwise would have forgotten. Seeing The Gaslight Anthem reminded me of the bands I was into in early high school – and that’s not saying anything against any of the fans at Headliners on Monday. Instead, I think it says a lot about the influence that my best friend’s dad had on our music taste at the time. He played guitar in a band, rode motorcycles, had a beard and tattoos, and was pretty much a badass in our teenage eyes. Those feelings came back when listening to The Gaslight Anthem earlier last week.
To bring the show to a close, The Gaslight Anthem decided to play through until their last available moment instead of playing a cliche encore set. The band is in tune with its fans, knowing that the audience would rather hear more of their music than have the “encore experience” that is no longer (for the most part) a genuine occurrence. We went to the show thinking we wouldn’t necessarily stay through to the end, but were captivated by the band’s ernest tenacity. They weren’t just putting on a show – this is how they are and what they do.