Marquee: The Gaslight Anthem
When your band hails from New Jersey, Springsteen comparisons are inevitable. When your singer is a dead ringer for the Boss who sings nostalgic fist-pump anthems with lyrics about radios and regrets and girls' first names? Well, you're inviting the comparisons on yourself.
The Gaslight Anthem makes no effort to hide their Asbury Park inclinations. But even with their influences on one sleeve and their hearts on the other, this band has somehow managed to carve out an identity of its own. It's hard to miss the direct Springsteen parallels, but it would be dumb to ignore the way they graft such sounds into a pop-punk template so successfully.
That said, check out these lyrics from "Backseat," the closing track from last year's The '59 Sound: "The summer always brought in that wild and reckless breeze/ In the backseat we just tried to find some room for our knees/ In the backseat we just tried to find some room to breathe." It's like singer Brian Fallon is challenging The Hold Steady's Craig Finn to a Boss-off!
The Gaslight Anthem will be at the Newport on Monday for a mere $5 cover charge. Perhaps more exciting for fans of Ohio's best bands: Cincinnati garage/country/soul titans The Heartless Bastards will also appear.
Their recent release The Mountain, featuring artwork by Columbus artist-musician Michael Carney, finds them expanding the boundaries of their sound while maintaining the strong songwriting that's always characterized their work.
Good Old War, a pop-minded, genre-bending folk-rock trio from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, rounds out the bill.
The Gaslight Anthem with Heartless Bastards
When: 7 p.m. Monday, March 30
Where: Newport Music Hall, Campus