Review / The Gaslight Anthem at KoKo, London

When you keep hearing amazing things about your favourite band’s live performances and you haven’t got a chance to see them yet yourself;  it’s quite painful.

The Gaslight Anthem’s music has been blasting out my stereo and cheering me up with their lively punk/rock sound ever since I got to discover this brilliant group from New Jersey. The dream to see them perform live has been growing with time so when I found out they were going to do a special show at KoKo, which must be one of the greatest venues in London and promote their upcoming album Handwritten (out in July), I simply told myself that this time I will get to see them no matter what.

The tickets for the show were sold out in a blink of an eye and I am so happy that this time it was clearly meant to be that I finally got to see Brian Fallon and the rest on stage rocking away all my favourite tracks.

Brian Fallon is one musician I truly admire and everything he’s done so far is incredible and inspiring. So when you know you’re about to see someone whose music means so much to you in reality; it’s the most amazing feeling ever.

After releasing their new single 45, followed by an official video for the track (watch below), there has been a great buzz and impatience to finally experience the promised special event at KoKo.

And what am I about to write is an experience from one of the best gigs I have ever been to.

TGA have chosen their support act very well. A Stockholm based band Twopointeight opened the show in a big style with their punk/rock music packed with loud guitars and strong vocals. Highly energetic performance and a really good stage presentation must be credited to these guys. They really kicked off the great atmosphere and received a well deserved cheering from the audience. Check out their music on their Facebook Page!

After getting impatient and really excited as the big moment was about to come,  The Gaslight Anthem finally appeared on stage opening the set with Great Expectations. A great song to get the party going in the crowd.

We had a really good spot on the balcony, just at the front so we could see the whole stage and the audience perfectly. The connection between the two was getting stronger as We Came to DanceCasanova, Baby!, Old White Lincoln and The Diamond Church Street Choir followed. Brian Fallon kept dancing and jumping around the stage with a smile on his face and giving the crowd what they came for. A true legendary performance.

The air was filled with such a happy and uplifting vibe with people of all ages chanting to each one of the songs.

The time has come for the band to perform their new single 45, proving that the upcoming album Handwritten will be with no doubt another fantastic record to add to our TGA collection.

The band carried on with some early days tracks like I’da Called You Woody, Joe or Angry Johnny and the Radio followed by Even Cowgirls Get The Blues, one of the evening’s highlights – Old Haunts, Drive, Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts and Film Noir.

Probably one of the most epic and memorable moments came just after performing Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis? when Brian disappeared off the stage and shortly after appeared on top of the balcony, daringly climbing through and leaning down towards the crowd while all of us watched in shock as he jumped onto people’s raised arms!  We all stared in awe as he was raised up and passed around,  trying to get back to the front and after being successful in doing so, he acknowledged everyone that he is ok by raising and waving his arms around in the air. It was one of the craziest wow moments which surely won’t be forgotten by any of us or Brian himself. Watch the whole moment here at the 3:15 mark!

Getting back on stage, Brian and the band simply carried on rocking with Wooderson. At this point I knew this was about to become one of the greatest gigs I have ever experienced. The relationship between the band and the crowd grew so strong as both naturally fell in love with each other. It was one happy place to be.

Brian took on a cover and gave us a heartfelt vocal-killing performance of House Of The Rising Sun (The Animals cover). After the famous American Slang, a truly special moment happened as one of my favourite songs of all time Here’s Looking At You Kid was performed and I just stood there taking in every second and every emotion of it.

The Backseat was supposed to be the last track but of course it wasn’t. We knew they will be back on stage as we all cheered.

The encore consisted of 5 more tracks: She Loves You, Biloxi Parish, The Queen of Lower Chelsea, ‘59 Sound and the closing track that left us all speechless was The Who’s cover of Baba O’Riley.

I knew that seeing The Gaslight Anthem live will be a spectacular moment for me. But it was so much more than I imagined. The performance and personality of the band left me speechless.

But now, I had to share the experience and feelings from such a magic night with the world.

Even the band classed this show as one of their top 5 ever! And I am so happy I was part of it.

The Gaslight Anthem will be back in the UK this fall. If you’re reading this and you haven’t seen them live yet,  get your tickets as soon as they become available. I know I will. If I’m that lucky again.

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