While manufactured pop bands like One Direction and Little Mix top charts with their songs about nothing in particular, bands like The Gaslight Anthem craft pieces of musical art with real stories at their heart. These songs take on a life of their own in a live setting when thousands of people sing a long and tonight in Manchester is no different.

Dave Hause cuts a lonely figure as he walks onto the stage with a guitar in his hands but the moment he starts playing the stage seems a lot smaller. With a set combining the best of his solo material and a handful of songs by The Loved Ones, his other project, we get our first chance to have a sing a long. While they may not be known to everyone in the rapidly filling venue songs like’ Jane’ and ‘Time Will Tell’ get a great response and when he finishes with a particularly rousing 100K the crowd are ready and warmed up for The Gaslight Anthem.

It takes a lot to bring down a crowd as hyped up as this one but somehow Blood Red Shoes manage to do it. With a sound that jars with the rest of the line-up tonight they fail to really capture the audience and their lack of crowd interaction makes for an awkward half an hour. The material they showcase is far from poor, songs like ‘Light It Up’ and set closer ‘ I Wish I was Someone Better’ would have people jumping up and down at any of their own shows but tonight’s subdued audience don’t really feel it.

The Gaslight Anthem take to the stage amid frenzied cheering and start with the slow paced ‘Mae’, an odd choice but once people start singing along it becomes the perfect choice for an opener. After this the band turn the throttle on with and for the next hour and forty five minutes Manchester are treated to anthem after anthem from one of the most exciting bands around. With new tracks like ‘Too Much Blood’ and the uber anthemic ‘45’ fitting seamlessly with their older material, it’s clear that this band is only going to get better with age. Don’t rule out arenas for this band just yet, if anyone is deserving of playing them it’s this band right here and not some flash in the pan act.