Posted by: Joe | March 23, 2009

“Great Expectations”

The ’59 Sound was one of my favorite albums from the end of last year, and I’ve really been looking forward to seeing The Gaslight Anthem live.  So we were off the The Opera House on Friday night, despite the pile of work we should have been doing for the kitchen renovation.

When I bought the tickets for this gig I was hoping that Heartless Bastards would be providing support, as they’re joining for the rest of the North American tour, but once I saw them listed on various SXSW info I knew that wasn’t the case.  When we got to the venues the question was soon answered by a big “Saint Alvia” stencil on the side of an amp.  One of their songs got some play on CBC Radio 3 last year, and my friend Scott has a connection with one of the guys in the band and had told me good things about them.

The first opening band was Windsor’s Orphan Choir.  They were loud.  And growly.  And otherwise unremarkable.

Saint Alvia was up next, and banged out a quick, high-energy set that got the crowd pumped.  They didn’t play anything that I recognized, but I’ve added them to my eMusic “Save for later” list.  I love when a supporting act understands their role.  Set up your equipment and sound check with the quickness, rock 5-6 of your best songs, get the hell off the stage.  Bravo, lads.

GA hit the stage and launched into “Great Expectations”, a mosh pit erupting before the first chord change.

Imagine Springsteen fronting a punk band–that’s what The Gaslight Anthem’s sound is like.  Their songs are somewhat classic New Jersey, blue-collar rock, managing to maintain a balance between punk anthem and melody.  If you’re the sort of indie music fan that have tried and failed to like The Hold Steady, The Gaslight Anthem might be worth a try.

As I was coming home from one of several trips to Home Depot today, the radio happened to be on the Strombo Show (I had forgotten my iPod).  GA’s frontman Brian Fallon called in to the show to request “Soon Enough” by The Constantines, citing them as a large influence on his music–“If we can only be as good a band as The Constantines I’ll know we’ve made it.”

I knew there was a reason I liked these guys.

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Saturday afternoon I put off more kitchen work playing in the Silver Tankard zone playdowns.  We started off slow (we were down 4-0 after two ends in our game), but got close by the 5th end break, after which our opponents never scored again.  Our partner team won their game as well, so in a couple weeks we’ll have a chance to repeat last year’s provincial championship.

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Today I had no ways left to procrastinate, so kitchen assembly started.  Sheila got a bunch of painting done the day before, so we were ready to start hanging cabinets.  However once we got going, we realized that one of the cabinets that Ikea had included was the wrong size, so we made a trip out to return it and gather few other supplies.

After that setbacks were relatively minor, and we got all of the wall cabinets up, some more assembly complete, and the electrical supply for the new dishwasher routed.  Not a bad day’s work for a couple amateurs.

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Responses

  1. I am going to download TGA tonight based on 1) your description, and 2) the fact that the lead singer requested a Constantines song, quite possibly their finest.

    Cheers


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