listings: Gaslight Anthem burn so bright.
For me, there is no doubt that The Gaslight Anthem are one of those rare acts in possession of this power.
Their second offering The '59 Sound has quickly become one of, if not my favourite album of the year. Excited about this outing?
That doesn't even come close.
After deciding to give opening act Former Cell Mates a miss, next up The King Blues served up a delectably entertaining support slot. While most support acts usually offer up something not too dissimilar from the headliners, although notably more dilute, The Kings Blues' blend of ska was almost worthy of its own headline slot, with standout tracks such as The Streets Are Ours and Save The World, Get The Girl impressing greatly.
Think somewhere in-between Bedouin Soundclash and Rancid, with an occasion nod to The Clash for good measure.
Despite The King Blues' best efforts, The Gaslight Anthem are one of those bands that draw a dedicated following.
We didn't have to wait long into the New Jersey quartet's hour and 15 minute set to see why.
From opener Great Expectations to the close of The Backseat all the passion that has earned them comparisons to Springsteen is not only evident but also amplified.
Whether it's the more punchier sound of tracks from debut Sink Or Swim such as We Came To Dance or I'da Call You Woody Joe, or the more eclectic mix of rock, soul and blues from their most recent offering, live Gaslight perform with conviction most bands can only strive for.
But it's all not all strictly business; unexpected covers of Stand By Me and What Becomes of The Broken Hearted, as well frontman Brian Fallon's matey banter, all helping to ease the mood.
With tracks such as The Patient Ferris Wheel, the ever-sincere Here's Looking At You Kid and an encore of rousing anthem Say You Won't Recognise shining brightly, myself and almost all in attendance leave fully convinced.
2008 may have been their biggest year to date, but make no mistake, 2009 will be even greater, with a February/March tour already booked.
Finally the world has another band worth believing in.
ARTIST: The Gaslight Anthem.
VENUE: Manchester Academy 3.
REVIEW BY: Tom Bailey
RARE: The Gaslight Anthem