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September 29, 2010

Review: The Gaslight Anthem at Rams Head Live

On Tuesday night at Ram’s Head, The Gaslight Anthem proved that there is still music out there that doesn’t just consist of a dance beat, a repeating 3-chord progression and serious Auto-Tune.

This alternative band (vocalist Fallon, guitarist Alex Rosamilia, bassist Alex Levine and drummer Benny Horowitz) performed for a very packed Ram’s Head  - a crowd that consisted of mostly 20-something rock fans (and a guy in a banana suit) - held the audience captive through the end.

From their initial entrance to the stage -- accompanied by Alien Ant Farm’s Michael Jackson cover “Smooth Criminal” -- to their encore performance, the energy level in the room never wavered.

Gaslight didn’t stop to play between every song to idly talk with the crowd, or to exchange private jokes amongst themselves. They just played right through. They’re old school rock 'n' roll: a lead guitar backed by a stabilizing rhythm guitar; steady and intricate bass lines; and a consistent and heavy drum beat. Fallon has a raspy, classic rock voice, and Horowitz’s drumming is a perfectly executed array of crashes.

And yet, songs like “Even Cowgirls Get Blues” and “Old White Lincoln” tell stories in the manner of  their influences, such as Tom Petty and Johnny Cash. During “Blue Jeans and White T Shirts,” a dozen fans actually raised their lighters.

Other songs like “The Queen of Lower Chelsea,” “Angry Johnny and the Radio,” and “Film Noir” were more upbeat. The ’59 Sound, their breakout single, had everyone jumping.

Gaslight is touring with their new album, “American Slang.” The band concluded the hour-and-a- half-long set with a five-song encore of some of their older work.

Set list:

High Lonesome
The Patient Ferris Wheel
Diamond Church Street Choir
Old White Lincoln
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
The ’59 Sound
Bring It On
Miles Davis and the Cool
Queen of Lower Chelsea
Stay Lucky
I’da Called You Woody, Joe
Angry Johnny and the Radio
Film Noir
Blue Jeans and White T Shirts
Great Expectations

Boomboxes and Dictionaries
Here’s Looking at You Kid

- Michael Correlli 

Michael Correlli is a first time contributor to Midnight Sun. He’s a mass communications junior at Towson University and writes for the student-run newspaper, The Towerlight. While at Bamboozle Music Festival, he almost got hit by Ke$ha’s golf cart. Almost.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 11:12 AM | | Comments (12)
Categories: Concert reviews


i was just commenting on how much better this review was than the Vampire Weekend review when I realized it is a different author. Oops, Oh well, I was trying to be positive at least....

Still a few confusing sentences, but good overall. I like how I actually got a picture of the show. I wish I could have gone.

I also like how the author didn't mention his personal preference, mock the crowd, compare the band to pop acts, etc.

Nice Review!

Agreed: the performance was great, but: the sound mix was awful! They were fighting feedback and reverb all night. I think a thorough review should mention this. The drums were over-miked, the bass was over amped, the PA wasn't mixed in properly. Seen other shows at Rams Head before and this was definately worse.

The sound mix was definitely painful at times. Pretty good show, though I have to admit I thought they were a bit more lively and loose when I saw them at the 930 Club in October.

Seemed to me like they all visibly enjoyed playing songs off of Sink Or Swim compared to American Slang.

Also, I think every time that I've seen Brian Fallon, this being the 4th time, he throws a line out about being tattooed in that city. Is this just a gimmick?

The Gaslight Anthem were great for the most part - agree with the person that said the sound had some issues for sure.

The "biggest" disappointment was the lack of security at RHL to put an end to the 400lb guys who decided to turn the floor into their own personal mosh pit. It is dangerous when you are a normal size but even more so for us ladies when you are gigantic fatty. I am a frequent patron of RHL and have never seen this happen before. I mean it's not like TGA is deathmetal or something.

Good review!

Yeah, general rule of thumb for the dude in the Flyers jersey: if you're built like a bowling ball, you shouldn't be moshing. Leave it to the skinny guys.

Thanks for posting this. Still sorry to have missed it.

No love for Fake Problems though?

A music review with a set list???? Wow!!!!

Maza, take notes!

Fans raised their lighters to "Here's looking at you kid". Get it right.

God, who moshes anymore anyway? 1994 called, they want their dance back!

YOu are the best reviewer out there! This is excellent!!!

God, who moshes anymore anyway? 1994 called, they want their dance back!

No, I'm calling

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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