The rise of The Gaslight Anthem

On July 24th the Gaslight Anthem’s major label debut, “Handwritten,” hit iTunes (and I guess probably some retail stores) to what seemed like, to me at least, a surprising amount of fanfare. I’m not saying all the attention wasn’t deserved, because it was, the album is fantastic. It just seemed weird that this band that usually found its home on the outskirts of mainstream rock was suddenly getting so much attention. Weird and awesome at the same time.

I’m not trying to sound like of those pretentious hipsters who “loved this band before you were even born” and “likes them more than you and in ways that you can never understand.” This is not one of those posts because as far as I’m concerned, the more people who like the same music as me, the better…because it leaves a higher chance of someone knowing what I’m rambling about when new albums drop.

What I’m trying to discern from this sudden bought of press (Rolling Stone, The New York Times Magazine, etc…) is how it happened. I know that the game changed on a major label–there are marketing budgets and all that jazz–but I think with the Gaslight Anthem it’s more than that.

They’ve lived on the outside of the mainstream for so long that everything they do, they just do it because they love it. Yes, they’ve been trying to “make it,” who’s not? But while most bands were focused on trying to get airplay and their music videos to go viral (OK Go), The Gaslight Anthem was focusing on their music. This is why there’s a seemingly sudden barrage of press.

The Gaslight Anthem debuted on a major label with an awesome album that sounded just like them…not some studio-produced sellout nonsense that sometimes gets made when artists either can’t stand up to management or don’t have a choice. The new album allows Gaslight to still be themselves but give them the exposure they’ve lacked for so long.

So here’s to many more albums and many more fans…just plase stop scalping all the tickets. I’ve tried to see this band 15 times and every single time…no tickets. Or at the very least, if you’re going to scalp them, resell them for reasonable prices…some of us have student loans to pay off.

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