The Gaslight Anthem at the Agora on Tuesday —These New Jersey rockers sound like a cross between the Clash and Bruce Springsteen. They play heartland rock spiked with a bit of punk assertion. Their songs are packed with rousing choruses that could have been written in the '60s, '80s or yesterday. Last year's The '59 Sound is filled with fist-raising sing-alongs about doubt, nostalgia and the promised land. It's also one of the best albums of 2008. (Listen to "Here's Looking at You, Kid" below.)
Raul Malo at the Beachland on Tuesday — Malo used to front the Mavericks, who had a few country hits back in the day. But there really wasn't all that much country to them. A little twangy, sure, but for the most part they were classic pop songmakers led by Malo's soaring, Orbisonesque voice. His latest album is Lucky One, which (as usual) stretches across several genres. —Michael Gallucci
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