Live Review: The Gaslight Anthem at Manchester 02 Apollo

For the second of two consecutive nights, Manchester’s 02 Apollo was packed to the brim with fans both young and old of New Jersey’s The Gaslight Anthem. Bringing with them support from Bayside and Deer Tick.

Kicking off the night were New York’s own Bayside, who had not long toured the UK with Alkaline Trio back in May. This time setting an interesting mood for the night by playing Mr. Crowley over the PA and opening with Boy, the opening track from their 2008 album Shudder. Though the levels were a little off creating a heavy echo in the mammoth venue, this was beneficial to tracks like Mona Lisa. As always Bayside were completely on form with Jack nailing those ridiculous solos perfectly, however they couldn’t quite manage to get crowd going.

Second up were Deer Tick. As the crowd picked up in size, their attention unfortunately couldn’t quite be held as there was a heavy amount of talking right through the crowd during their set. This combined with their slower blend of indie rock may have made them better suited for the opening band and left Bayside to liven things up before Gaslight. Though credit to Deer Tick, they did sound better on the stage than their records, most notably with the energy and feeling that went into Walkin’ Out The Door.

Finally, The Gaslight Anthem took the stage and seemed to be the only thing that the crowd wanted. Whipping the place into a frenzy with blinding purple lights leaving the band as silhouettes as they opened with Have Mercy the bonus track from their latest album Get Hurt. With a manic light show as they launched into Stay Vicious, the crowd near tore the place apart. Brian also prepared the audience for how the night was going to go saying they will play song after song. He shared his thoughts on encores saying they weren’t going to do one because “I find them silly, there are more songs to play”. The levels were greatly improved from the support acts thankfully as they powered through a 21 song set. Brian kept the audience engaged as he didn’t sing verses and choruses leaving it to the crowd. Playing songs from their back catalogue, the crowd were also treated to a slow version of Great Expectations featuring guest vocals from Bayside’s Anthony Raneri.

Rating: 7 Slices out of 8

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