By Steve Wiseman

After a high-energy, 50-minute set in front of a packed crowd at the Ed Sullivan Theater last night (June 27) for a “Live On Letterman” webcast, the Gaslight Anthem returned to the stage at the chanted requested of the audience. The Jersey-bred and Springsteen-approved band put an exclamation point on the show with a thunderous rendition of The Who’s “Baba O’Riley.”

After concluding the set with “The Backseat,” the band left the stage to a standing ovation, but alternating chants of “Gaslight Anthem!” and “one more song!” brought the Jersey boys back out for an encore.

“I think that was the first time in the history of ever that we seriously thought that we weren’t coming back,” lead singer and guitarist Brian Fallon told the crowd. “But they’re like, ‘You guys can do one more.'”

After some banter with the crowd, Fallon cut to the chase. “We’re gonna do one more song for you. It’s not our song but it’s a good one to send you off to.” Guitarist Alex Rosamilia played the unmistakable notes originally performed by Pete Townshend on piano and the audience erupted.

Towards the end of the performance right before the song’s climax, Fallon yelled to the crowd, “Look at this kid!” in reference to Rosamilia on guitar. “Who needs a keyboard?”

Head over to to watch Gaslight Anthem’s “Live On Letterman” concert and their “Baba O’Riley” cover (at the 52:21 mark).

The Gaslight Anthem’s appearance on “Live On Letterman” comes a month before the release of the band’s fourth album Handwritten, due for release on July 24th.

Gaslight originally covered “Baba O’Riley” for its 2011 iTunes Session, which also features covers of Tom Petty‘s “Refugee,” Bob Dylan‘s take on “The House of the Rising Sun” and Pearl Jam’s “State of Love and Trust.”

– E.J. Judge, WCBSFM New York


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