Gaslight Anthem / Twin Atlantic - Manchester Academy 1
My head is pounding, my ears are ringing and my heart's still beating like a drum. The three undeniable signs of a killer rock and roll show.
Luck was with me all though the night. Luck got me a spot at this sold out gig; it got me to the barrier; got me a set list and then luck saw me safely home as, in a unprecedented act of kindness (probably never before seen in the Greater Manchester transportation system) the number 85 bus driver waited for me as I ran to the bus stop. Now hopefully the luck muse will not fail me as I attempt to find the words to describe just how great this concert was.
Glasgow band Twin Atlantic started proceedings with a killer set which included songs from their debut mini-album Vivarium. Opening up for a big name would be a daunting experience for any band, but these guys had the audience eating out of their hands by the second number. With the fire and fury of fellow Scots Biffy Clyro, Twin Atlantic wowed the crowd with a selection of impressive tunes: 'Human After All', 'Lightspeed', and the gorgeous 'Caribbean War Syndrome'. Watch this space. I predict great things for this band.
The headliners then took the stage and launched into the title track of the the brilliant album American Slang. Looking more like mechanics who just got off work, Brian Fallon and the boys treated us to a long and generous set which included tracks from the new album and 2008's The '59 Sound. Songs like 'Stay Lucky', 'The Spirit of Jazz' and the beautiful 'Bring It On' prove once and for all that these boys are much much more than Springsteen wannabes. And in between numbers band leader Fallon delighted the crowd with anecdotes about the songs (for instance the memorable shows performed at the Asbury Bowling Alley immortalized in 'Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts' - one of the night's highlights.) The band finished off with a blistering rendition of the Who classic 'Baba O'Reily', complete with some impressive windmill action from Fallon.
The band returned with a six song strong encore that included old favourites like 'Casanova, Baby!', 'Film Noir' and ending with the sensational 'The Backseat'. At times Fallon seemed overcome by the crowd's reaction as if genuinely surprised that so many people turned up to see them.
It was a truly spectacular night of music with Twin Atlantic and The Gaslight Anthem performing above and beyond the call of duty. For sure, luck was with me tonight.