The Gaslight Anthem w/ Heartless Bastards @ Masquerade in Atlanta [Concert Review]

by oz on May 13, 2009

gaslight anthem

The Gaslight Anthem make me want to dance like Kevin Bacon in Footloose. Do you know the scene I’m talking about? He flails his arms at the steering wheel, dramatically blows cigarette smoke into the air out of his mouth and nose holes and then chugs a beer before run-dancing his mother effing ass off through an empty warehouse. I listened to “The ’59 Sound” in my office the other day and would have done flips off a gymnastics high-bar, had one been strategically placed outside of my cubicle.

Anyway, you may have noticed that the blog was a little neglected last week. I spent most of the week on cross-country flights, but I did find myself in Atlanta and was able to make time to catch Heartless Bastards and The Gaslight Anthem at Masquerade. A college friend is part-owner of this spectacular (and haunted) venue and the night of music was fabulous.

I walked in halfway through the Heartless Bastards set and lead singer Erika Wennerstrom’s voice filled the cavernous room. The setup at the Masquerade allowed you to stand in front of the stage, behind the stage or elevated on the sides of the stage looking down at the band at arms length. It’s rock walls and gothic vibe make you feel like you’re literally in an underground club catching the best kept secrets in music. And we were.

Heartless Bastards won over anyone in the crowd that was unfamiliar with the band, but the mostly tattooed crowd was there to see New Jersey rockers, The Gaslight Anthem. Once the band took the stage people started to lose their shit. I’m not joking. Fists were pumping and the entire crowd knew every word to every song. Two guys were holding up an American flag, women were dancing with their eyes closed, tattooed guys were hugging, one tough guy with a beard was crying. I’m serious. I’ve never seen anything like it at a small venue with bands that aren’t mainstream. It reminded me of a Lucero show, but with more energy.

I had a long drive back to Marietta after the show and I felt something that I haven’t felt for a long, long time. I truly thought I had just experienced a band on the cusp of real greatness…and not just the indie music cult kind. These guys have catchy hit-ready singles like “Great Expectations” and “The 59 Sound” and a big pop-punk sound that could fill an arena just as well as Masquerade.

All I can really say is go see this band in person. You will not regret it.

From our Heartless Bastards Live Session:

Exclusive: Heartless Bastards – Hold Your Head High

Exclusive: Heartless Bastards – Sway

Acoustic tracks from The Gaslight Anthem, courtesy of blog pal Fuel for Friends:

The Gaslight Anthem – The ’59 Sound

The Gaslight Anthem – Great Expectations

You can download a full zip of the acoustic tracks over at Fuel for Friends.

Video: The Gaslight Anthem – Even Cowgirls Get The Blues @ Masquerade, Atlanta GA

And yes, I did find the Footloose Video…

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

carly May 15, 2009 at 9:42 pm

oh… my… hell…
a. gaslight anthem live IS like footloose. how can you NOT cut loose.
b. footloose was filmed about 10 miles from my house.
c. your blog is now 7 degrees from kevin bacon.
d. add heartless bastards and i’m jealous. real jealous.
e. thank you.

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