Photos by: Chris Duke
Words by: Mike McCullough
I can’t begin to explain my excitement going down to First Avenue that night! Personally, Against me! is one of my favorite bands and Gaslight Anthem is amazing too.
When I got there the first act was starting, Cory Branan. I had no idea who this guy was or what I was in for. I saw one man walk on stage with his acoustic guitar, which made me nervous. I thought I was in for a drawn out 30 min folk set but luckily, I was wrong. This man knew how to jam on a guitar! Slamming on those strings, I found my self dancing to every song. Cory was a good opener not just for this tour, but as an artist.
The second Band to hit the Minneapolis stage was Against me! This was the first time I would be seeing them in a few years. New CD’s out and a couple of new band members, I had a good feeling right when the first song started. Laura was on stage absolutely killing it! If she wasn’t singing, she wasn’t standing still. Moving around and head banging with ever song. Awesome back up vocals by James Bowman (long time guitarist), with their new bassist Inge Johansson rocking out with a smile along side new drummer Atom Willard, smashing on the drums. So to say the least, they ROCKED!
Finally Gaslight Anthem took the stage. I thought it would be another set with the same songs and a banner in the back like shows before, but that is not what I got. Lights went off on the main floor and the back lights came alive as the band hit the stage. With bright colors flashing and front man Brian’s vocals, I was blown away! Awesome rough vocals with soothing guitar, just like Ma’ma used to make.
There was some murmuring about whether or not Against Me! should have been the closing act but when the night came to an end, Gaslight Anthem was obviously the right choice. After seeing these bands I will gladly see any of them again!