Review by Joel Reed
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
All this time I’ve been trying to figure out how White Denim and the Gaslight Anthem ended up on Upstate Concert Hall’s stage on the same night. Sure, they’re both hard-rocking bands with growing followings (with the Gaslight Anthem’s growing larger, faster), but you could say that about lots of bands. I just typed in the right combination of words to find my answer: they have the same booking agent. No doubt he was filling holes in schedules, perhaps hoping to turn followers of one into new fans of the other.
That might be hard to pull off though, as the band’s differences far outshined their common business arrangements. In the evening’s opening set White Denim challenged the audience to keep up with their fast playing, dense lyrics and rapid time-signature shifts, while they demonstrated a broad sweep of influences from southern rock to prog, the Grateful Dead to Led Zeppelin, with some quirky regional underground and punk thrown in.