A steady rain Sunday evening did not stop more than 1,000 fans from gathering at Pier 26 in Hudson River Park to see New Jersey rockers The Gaslight Anthem for the last of three consecutive New York City shows.
While touring to promote their fourth album, Handwritten, there has been talk of new material and potentially a “new sound” from the band, known for its old-school Americana influence, sing-along choruses and punk riffs with a southern twist.
“We need to figure out who we are as old men,” Brian Fallon, the band’s front man, told the crowd. Fans can expect to hear new material “by next year,” he added.
Some fans chanted “Bruce” for Bruce Springsteen, who has joined the band on stage in the past and widened The Gaslight Anthem’s fan base, but The Boss is not expected to appear with them again. Fallon later addressed his distaste for this kind of chanting in a Tumblr post inspired by this particular show’s audience.
“The ticket just says what the band is playing,” Fallon wrote. “It doesn’t make promises of that cover they did once, or that guest they had last week, or…your favorite song.”
The set started off strong with the new album’s title track and included a wide range of songs from all four of the band’s albums, including a slower, softer “Blue Jeans and White T-Shirts” and a lesser-known “Halloween,” which the band said was never officially released but gained popularity online.
For the encore, the quartet came back out with the old-timey “Here Comes My Man,” “Mulholland Drive,” “She Loves You” and even closing with a cover of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley,” allowing the crowd to sing along one last time.
Opening the show were Brooklyn’s own alt-rock storytellers The Hold Steady, who started with the upbeat seasonal anthem “Constructive Summer,” immediately energizing the crowd with inspiring one-liners such as “let this be my annual reminder, that we can all be something bigger.”
Craig Finn, the lead singer, got fans amped to hear out a new song, “Fifteen Days Felt Like Forever,” following more familiar crowd-pleasers such as “The Swish” and “Magazines.”
Fans of Jersey punks Titus Andronicus went wild as singer Patrick Stickles made a guest appearance on stage for “Cattle and the Creeping Things,” and showed visible passion for each line he sang of the lyrically dense, story-telling track from the 2005 concept album, Separation Sunday.
The band wrapped it up with radio hit “Sequestered in Memphis,” and the nostalgic “Stay Positive.”
The Gaslight Anthem is continuing their tour before coming to Long Island, where they’ll play The Paramount in Huntington on Sunday, Sept. 8.