BY: ADAM PRINGLE
Anaheim's beloved Chain Reaction was the target of a British invasion on Jan. 21, but moptops and Merseybeat-inspired music were nowhere to be found on this evening. Instead, Gallows had arrived.The quintet demonstrated how it has been able to convince folks across the pond that punk still matters (its single "Staring At the Rude Bois" recently hit No. 1 on the U.K. Rock Chart) by putting on an intense and sweat-drenched set perfect for an intimate setting like Chain.
While guitarists Laurent Barnard and Steph Carter busted out raw-yet-forceful riffs reminiscent of what the Sex Pistols would have played if they survived into the early '80s and began listening to a lot of Black Flag (indeed, Gallows covered the Black Flag classic "Nervous Breakdown" late in the evening), singer Frank Carter got to the task of bringing the City That Disney Built to its knees.
Although the skinny, boyish-looking redhead resembles Ron Weasley of "Harry Potter" fame if he ever decided to get himself tattooed and go the way of hardcore, he yet again proved himself to be a formidable front man by whipping the crowd into a frenzy. During blistering numbers such as "Abandon Ship" and "Kill the Rhythm," Carter transfixed everyone by swinging his microphone around and jumping into the audience to start mosh pits.
Carter also had some choice words for Disney (who canceled Gallows' gig opening for Social Distortion at the House of Blues Anaheim the following evening due to the lyrical content of "Orchestra of Wolves," the title track from the band's 2006 album), calling on the audience to pelt Downtown Disney with eggs while commenting that he would "shove Donald Duck's eggs up Minnie Mouse's ass."
Appropriately, Gallows capped off the evening with the venom-fueled "Orchestra of Wolves," proving that the uncompromising and non-conformist spirit of punk is alive and well.