The Gaslight Anthem at Mercy Lounge 

Blinded by the Gaslight

Blinded by the Gaslight
With lyrics like “No surrender, my Bobby Jean,” New Jersey natives The Gaslight Anthem wear the influence of another Garden State rocker proudly on their sleeves. It isn’t often that you hear a pop-punk band that sounds familiar with music made before 1993. At this past summer’s Glastonbury Festival, Bruce Springsteen himself anointed the band as potential heirs to his Jersey Shore throne when he joined them onstage to play the title track from their 2008 release That ’59 Sound, only to later invite singer Brian Fallon to join him on “No Surrender” during his headlining set. True to their influences, their music retains that earnest “Us against The World” working-class ethos of obvious heroes like Social Distortion—who, this year, tapped them as an opening act—The Clash and, of course, Springsteen. With rousing shout-along choruses, walls of power chords and hair-trigger, meat-and-potatoes presentation, The Gaslight Anthem play pop-punk for adults, letting them know how the genre would’ve sounded had it retained some measure of meaningful songwriting and dignity after 1989—instead of having been hijacked and marred by polka beats, castrated, nasal vocals and scatological lyrics.
Fri., Oct. 23, 9 p.m., 2009

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