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It was a Wednesday night and excited fans lined the sidewalk leading up to the Town Ballroom. The Gaslight Anthem’s show was sold out days in advance. As I stood in line awaiting entry, dozens of fans walked along the line desperately looking for anyone willing to sell tickets. Once inside, the packed building was abuzz with anticipation for both Against Me! and The Gaslight Anthem. Against Me! has been making waves recently with the 2012 announcement by lead vocalist, Laura Jane Grace (born Thomas Gabel), about her gender dysphoria. The group’s most recent album is titled Transgender Dysphoria Blues was released in January of 2014. Since the announcement, the band has seen some turmoil and lineup changes. Taking the stage, Against Me! was greeted with cheers and applause from the crowd ready to go.
Highlights of the set included “Thrash Unreal,” “Transgender Dysphoria Blues” the title track from the new album, and “I Was a Teenage Anarchist.” During which the crowd sang along and brought a broad smile to the face of Grace.
The Gaslight Anthem began their set with the backdrop of a large, upside-down heart; the cover of their latest release, Get Hurt. The New Jersey based group has been active since 2006. Fronted by Brian Fallon, the group kicked off with the heavy riff driven song, “Stay Vicious.” From that point, the group continued with a 23 song set, keeping the crowd entirely hooked the whole time. There was a lot of music, but there was also a lot of banter. Brian clearly enjoyed entertaining the crowd with his wry sense of humor. At one point, the crowd broke into a “Let’s Go Buffalo” chant during which Brian looked utterly befuddled. Upon realizing what the crowd was chanting, Brian pointed out that the chant made no sense seeing as none of the band members were associated with football.
The set included a healthy balance of new tracks from their latest album and old tracks such as “The 59 Sound” and “Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.” The Gaslight Anthem finished the night with a 4 song encore before leaving the stage. It was a great show to help kick off the autumn concert season.
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