Thursday, June 26, 2014

A review of the Mighty Mighty Bosstones and the Gaslight Anthem at City Hall Plaza

A few months back when Dicky Barrett announced he would be celebrating his 50th birthday party in the city of Boston, excitement rose for the occasion from many of the band's fans in.  What could be better than seeing one of Boston's finest punk rock and ska combination live at City Hall Plaza right in the middle of Downtown Boston, all the more on a beautiful summer's night?  The Bosstones didn't come alone on this ride, they brought a band called Barrence Whitfield and the Savages and New Jersey's Gaslight Anthem. This line up made for an extremely well rounded show.

I wasn't very familiar with Barrence Whitfield and the Savages and I walked in toward the tail end of their set.  I'm not entirely sure what to describe them as but regardless, they were good for what they were.  After enjoying some BBQ with the family, I headed toward the crowd for the Gaslight Anthem.  The last time I caught them, it was the tail end of their set in New Hampshire with Rise Against over five years ago.  I have relatively enjoyed their music, particularly American Slang and so I was looking forward to seeing a full set this time.  They walked on out and opened up with The 59' Sound and the more recent, Handwritten.  The majority of their setlist was older material from their second record and a fewer recent songs.  I was really pleased to hear the catchy Biloxi Parsh from their fourth full length, Handwritten as well as the sing along, 45.  

Roughly mid set, the Birthday boy (or man for that matter...) was invited out to sing on The Patient Farris Wheel which really warmed up the crowd.  The next three songs were some more of my favorites including Howl, Old Haunts and American Slang.  As a side note, I personally wish these guys got a little bit longer time to play but as we all know, there are restrictions (especially with the cities curfew for music).  The rest of the set came from their older records and included Great Expectations,   and Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts.  Lastly, I'm not positive but the last number of their set may have been a cover called Backseat.  Not entirely sure who wrote it or if it was an original but I do believe Brian mentioned it was a cover toward the end of their show.  Overall, I enjoyed the Gaslight Anthem.  They were better than I thought they were but not entirely as great as I was expecting. Perhaps when I see them next in a smaller (indoor) venue, that will change things.

After a half hour or so of changeover, the lights on stage went out but before their intro, the video screen cued up.  A little Happy 50th Birthday tribute came on screen featuring a slew of Dicky's family, friends, and childhood friends from his past.  Much of the video included popular faces such as Jon Stewart, Ken Casey of the Dropkick Murphys, Mike McColgan and Johnny Rioux of the Street Dogs, and much more.  You can tell that Dicky is a very popular guy with the diverse amount of friends this video displayed.  Easily a very entertaining way to open the show.

After the video, it was lights out and the intro music came on.  Not long after, the lights came up, a lit up Mighty Mighty Bosstones banner came down and the band stormed up on stage.  The crowd embraced the band with energy and Dicky asked the crowd to scream and they kicked into Dr. D.  I was really surprised with the set they played and how diverse it was, especially for a commercial/out door concert.  The as per usual ranged from old and new.  I was really happy to hear Wasted Summers, Old School Off The Bright, and He's Back.  The set included many regular tunes such as Rascal King, Someday I Suppose (With Brian Fallon), and The Daylights. I was really excited to hear some older songs such as HowWhyWuzz, HowWhyAm , Let's Face It, and I Know More.  This was simply one of the best sets I have seen performed by these guys.

In case you haven't noticed already, the night was full of special guests including Lenny Lashley (Street Dogs/Darkbuster/Piss Poor Boys) on A Bricklayer's Story, which he sang and played guitar on.     Other more recent track's included were Like A Shot Gun, They Will Need Music and the b-side, The One With The Woes All Over It.  The crowd got themselves into a circle pit for the energetic 1-2-8,  and the very upbeat and personal favorite, They Came To Boston.  After a mini speech about friendship, Dicky dedicated Don't Worry Desmond Dekker to an old friend of his.  Speaking of friends, talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel came out on stage to play saxophone during The Impression The I Get. Lastly the main set ended with The Impossible Dream which is one I haven't seen in a few years.  The encore included three songs with former guitarist, Nate Albert.  What was really interesting and great to see was that it was two songs he did not write and clearly learned just for the show.  That is dedication!  These included I Want My City Back, Where'd You Go? and A Pretty Sad Excuse.  Overall, this was an excellent show and night at City Hall Plaza for seeing one of my favorite bands.  By the way, for those who were not there, the Hometown Throwdown this year is December 26th, 27th, and 28th!  Not sure when tickets go on sale but I would book your reservations now!  See you all in December!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home