The Fillmore filled up slowly but was almost at capacity as Cory Branan walked on stage with his guitar just around 8:00 pm on a nice but cold Friday night in Charlotte.
Opening any show is a daunting task. For Cory Branan it’s something that is he more than used to. Although Cory is an acoustic act, he doesn’t come across as your typical laid back and tame acoustic performer. From the start of his set, he beat his guitar like it owed him money and the energy only picked up as the set progressed.
Although Cory joked around with the crowd and seemed to be having fun, his true colors came out about half way through his set when he disclosed the meaning behind the song he was about to play. The song was titled ‘No Hit Wonder’ and he was sure to dedicate the song to his friends who just like him, spend month after month on the road and don’t see success from it but it’s all they know so they keep pushing.
Cory’s strong and hard hitting acoustic performance kept many fans in the crowd from talking and without a doubt, absolutely left an impression with the crowd while starting the show off extremely strong.
Charlottes own Matrimony, who happen to be a band full of brothers, sisters, friends and even a husband and wife were up next. The band who started just as a duo in 2009 has expanded to a full band now and were on one of the opening slots for the southeast part of this tour.
The style that Matrimony has chosen to play as a band can usually be better suited on live recordings rather than in a live atmosphere. Although, the band lacked any sort of outstanding or jaw dropping stage presence or interaction with the crowd, they made up for it with their live show being right on par with the recordings they have released through the harmonies of their two lead vocalists. The fact that they were being spot on with the array of instruments that the utilize on stage didn’t hurt either. Overall, they brought down the momentum that Branan had brought to the show a bit but it’s the cup of tea they decided to brew.
The Gaslight Anthem was the group that much of the crowd was there for, and they knew how to get their set started on the right foot – they came out to Sabotage by The Beastie Boys and transitioned it perfectly into one of their greats, “High Lonesome” off of The 59’ Sound. The interaction with the crowd through storytelling and quick jokes made the fans even more ecstatic.
The Gaslight Anthem has gained the recognition they have thus far not only because they are a group of hard working men, but also because they pay an extreme amount of attention to making sure that every note is hit just as it was on the album. The tightness of the musical aspect of the performance mixed with Brian Fallons voice can leave even a first time listener in awe. The band had the perfect amount of movement on stage and clearly played their instruments with passion.
The band from New Jersey who is known for being able to mix a little bit of Hot Water Music and Jawbreaker with a lot of Bruce Springsteen and Wilson Pickett left the crowd at Fillmore itching for more and begging for them to come back as soon as they can. From what could be heard in the crowd, it seems as though The Gaslight Anthem might be on the verge of having a cult following as many discussed their past and future travels to catch performances outside of this area from the band.
Nowadays, it’s not often that you see three very talented artists or groups of musicians that has a ticket price under $50 but without a doubt, this stop in Charlotte for Cory Branan, Matrimony, and The Gaslight Anthem will be one that will stick with people for months and months to come.