Tag Archives: Brian Fallon

AND THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM FINALLY TURNED THE RECORD OVER…

Last Thursday was a rough day. Euphoria and fun from the previous night turn into massive hangover, which made it difficult to endure at work, but I’m a pro, and finally managed to recover. I must admit a warm shower at lunch time also helped, and as the day was advancing, the excitement of the upcoming evening was getting noticeable.

Again, the rock troop was gathering at the meeting point for the pre-show beers, and everybody looked as motivated as I was. Yeah, we all were in the mood.

We had heard some rumors about Apolo theatre sold out. If that was the case, tickets were quite limited. Truth is that the venue was packed, much more than the night before. It was a nice surprise to discover that, apart from people in their 20s, older generations’ presence was remarkable. Probably this fact is one of the things I like most of The Gaslight Anthem: their sound is young, their lyrics are more adult oriented, and the influences for the band are classic artists and bands we’ve also been growing up with.

Mae was the atmospheric intro which led to the overwhelming first part of the show: The ’59 Sound, Handwritten, Old White Lincoln and “45”. The audience was insane almost levitating in happiness. We all thought this was going to be an epic set based on hits.

Unfortunately the setlist became irregular right after Here Comes  My Man. The fact that Fallon was quite talkative, interacting with the audience, unfortunately contributed to more empty spaces with radical change in rhythm and  people seemed to be quite confused at some point, and even distracted. I don’t know, they focused on mellower tunes very early when we were all demanding hits and energy I guess.

The band recovered the pulse as they were getting closer to the end, and The Backseat, the song that closes The ’59 Sound, was also chosen for finishing the core of the show, before the encore, which was demolishing, with She Loves You, Mulholland Drive, 1930, American Slang and Great Expectations. This time the band covered Bob Dylan’s Changing of the Guards, which didn’t get me crazy as in the previous show in 2011, when they played State of Love and Trust.

If I had to rate the show, it’d be 7,5-8/10. This could have been a memorable show, because the band is at its best, they’ve found their sound, much more solid this time, and although I don’t think the extra guitarist’s contribution is quite remarkable, the truth is that with his support, Brian Fallon looks more comfortable and can focus on the vocals more properly. The members of the band, however, are overshadowed by their frontman, who takes control and provides the band with the charisma the other members seem to lack of, or perhaps aren’t interested in putting up front. It’s a pity American Slang’s presence was reduced to almost nothing, because, even though I don’t think it’s their best, includes many great worthy hits. Finally, the creation of the set list and the order of songs arranged was their biggest mistake. The distribution of tempos and rhythms was irregular and as explained, left a bitter taste in all of us.

Witnessing their increasing popularity and the path they’re advancing by, I’m sure next time they visit us, the venues they’ll be playing at will be bigger and colder, because right now they’re one step behind the mainstream. I’m glad about them, not so much for me as a fan, but have to admit, when being surrounded by youngsters I felt relieved thinking part of the new generations will keep rock alive when I can’t do it anymore.

The show wasn’t perfect, I wasn’t looking for perfection anyway, I just wanted to have fun, yell songs as if I was a teenager, and sharing these moments with my friends, and that’s exactly what I did. I know eventually I’ll attend one of their shows in the future and will feel overwhelmed, because I can feel they’re actually evolving and improving, and hell, they got a bunch of anthems many would sell their souls for having them.

Thus I can say that In The Gaslight Anthem I Trust regardless, with the strong belief that this tiny turning click of the engine to take them to the top is about to happen.

If you feel curious and have time for more videos, I strongly recommend you to visit my friend rocknrollmfs Youtube channel, his stuff is terrific.

 

I KNEW HANDWRITTEN WOULDN’T FAIL ME…

Morning of any given Tuesday. Apparently there’s nothing outstanding related to this day, leaving some personal memories aside. Oh well, yes! I had an appointment scheduled for fixing my motorbike after one year and a half parked and forgotten. Yep, no comments.

My morning coffee has been sweetened thanks to the announcement of the availability of Handwritten, the fourth album by the guys from New Brunswick, in streaming, via NPR Music. Needless to say, my world has immediately taken a break for playing the album entirely for the first time.

I said to myself to avoid bad quality leaks belonging to bands I love. It’s a hard commitment, but sometimes I manage to accomplish it. This time this wasn’t a leak but an official premiere of the album, thus I had to give it a try.

As you can imagine it was impossible listening to it just once, and well, let’s say I haven’t played anything else today, but The ’59 Sound when pushing my poor motorbike towards the garage. TGA have made my day.

I posted the first single, 45, when it was launched. After listening endlessly, I still think it’s definitely to become one of their greatest anthems, very complete, very TGA, catchy intro, super rhythmic and intense melodies.

I’ve listened to Handwritten 5-6 times today, and once I finish writing this, I’ll forget about the album  till I receive my Deluxe copy, whose ETA is due to August the earliest, depending on shipping.

After digesting 45, I couldn’t conceal my excitement and the expectations were too great. To be honest, this uneasy feeling of considering failure as a possibility never brought out. From the very beginning, since I saw those captures at the studio, with the vintage Telecasters, the classic amps, the band attitude… I had good vibes regarding this new album. And seems that I wasn’t wrong.

Guess when you listen to a new album, your attention is unconsciously focused on the first songs, and then you get kinda relaxed. First half of Handwritten is simply brilliant. Today I can tell I’m already charmed by Handwritten, Mulholland Drive, Too Much Blood or Desire. I might change my opinion in two weeks, who knows? It’s not big deal anyway. First impressions imply excitement, happiness and certain degree of euphoria, as to distort the senses a bit, truth is that I’ve enjoyed the experience and the album has cheered me up quite much.

The Gaslight Anthem is not a band of virtuous musicians, they’re actually quite limited, and on live performances this is quite noticeable, however, quality in their compositions, the formula, their style clearly influenced by many artists I’ve already mentioned and they also admit to be inspiring, the story telling of the songs, their hardworking philosophy, and the positive energy and intensity they spread, all these features are what make the guys from New Jersey grand.

I think they’ve made it again, delivering a great album which has nothing to envy to their previous work. They found the path and easily keep the track, because they’ve already found themselves, and are aware, we, the fans, have finally found them.

Brian Fallon, Alex Rosamilia, Alex Levine and Benny Horovitz perhaps are not yet aware of having trespassed the boundaries into the level of the classic bands and he legends, and I know it’s 3.30AM and you think I’m talking nonsense and should go to sleep immediately, but I know what I mean. The Gaslight Anthem is one of the few bands which will survive the hype and if they stay tight and don’t fuck it up, they’ll be active in 15 years from now. You know the expiring products seem to dominate the world nowadays, well, these guys joined for long consumption .

Once this said, now it’s just a matter of time, on one hand to have the physical album in my hands, and on the other, wait till their next visit in November. The wait is gonna be hard.

45, A PLACEBO FOR THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM COLD TURKEY

Time again to refer to one of my hottest bands nowadays, The Gaslight Anthem.

Since the beginning of this blogging experiment, I’ve been constantly praising their talent, written posts about their albums, and been following their track closely.

Some months ago via Twitter, the band was confirming they were starting recording a new studio album. It was via Instagram when I was acquainted with the actual recording in Nashville, thanks to Brian Fallon’s captures, and finally about a month ago, the name for the album was confirmed: Handwritten. Love the name, short, stricking and vintage.

While both American and European dates are being confirmed, not only as Soundgarden’s supporters but also headlining, we’ve been waiting till today to know that July 23rd is the official release date of the album.

In the meantime, as an advance, barely 6 hours ago, the new single was introduced by Zane Lowe’s Hottest Record in the World on BBC Radio 1, as a worldwide premier.

I’ve been running some errands this evening and came back home three hours ago. Needless to say the single, 45, was available everywhere on the net, thus I’ve played it around 1-12 times already.

The verdict, quite predictable, is positive. I am absolutely delighted.

45 – THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM

On one hand mixing and production are impressive. All the parts are clearly balanced, and very real and raw at the same time. I’m particularly enjoying the drums a lot, super intense, job done with cymbals is brilliant, and guitars very clear, are pretty catchy. On the other hand, chorus is likely to become a new anthem, the body of the song follows the classic pattern, and Fallon’s vocals are fantastic.

 It is definitely what all the fans were seeking for, after such a long wait, with The Horrible Crowes project in the middle. We wanted the band, we wanted and anthem, and they didn’t fail to deliver, 45 is an awesome single, a sweet fix of The Gaslight Anthem, a placebo to temporarily relieve us from the withdrawal, which actually gets us more in need, and hooked, because now we need more, much more, and we’ll have to wait for more than 2 months.  Argh!

BASTERDS!!! 😉

Sure it was worth the waiting, and expectations are now greater than ever. Got this feeling that Handwritten will mean the peak in their career. We’ll see…

THE ’59 SOUND OF LOVE, IN SPRING

The ’59 Sound is one of my favorite albums in the last years, and The Gaslight Anthem one of the bands nowadays I respect most.

As far as I can remember, I told you a bit about this album, when I started this project of blog and diary of my life, and I’m positive I already told you my friend Artemio was the responsible for I had a crush on the New Jersey tattooed boys.

I love this album for many reasons. What attracted me first was simply the music, the rhythm and dynamism of every track, following an order carefully and very conveniently arranged. Brian Fallon’s Telecaster guitars, and Alex Rosamilia‘s outstanding arrangements, bass lines resembling Social Distortion and The Replacements, and that smell of classic Bruce Springsteen, even though I don’t dig much, are very appealing. Then it’s the lyrics. I love the story telling in songs. The Gaslight Anthem tell stories in their songs, same as Drive-By Truckers, which in some cases you feel related to. And these guys, referring to the good ol’ times, enhance the classic American icons: vintage cars, girls, diners, tattoos, broken hearts… I close my eyes and see Rumble Fish gang boys.

I’ve also noticed this band doesn’t leave people indifferent, either you love them or hate them, not radically, yet remarkable.

I’m not writing about this album as the chosen for the week, because whenever I get hooked to it, I can be listening to it incessantly for weeks. Right now I’m passing through one of these Gaslight seasons.

You might think I’m crazy, and I won’t argue at all. Being such a  romantic girl, Spring is my season. Don’t aim to sound desperate, because I’m not, but, with such weather, who doesn’t want to be in love? I know the whole season is still ahead and many things can happen, but friends, it’s gonna be the second official Spring on my own (I could even say this is the third, as the Spring’10  was a nonstop nightmare), and prospects are not very promising, to tell you the truth.

This is the thing, I love Spring, but once I assume I’m to be by myself, I get disturbed by the increasing amount of visible couples sprouting mushrooms like. And would love to kill. Nah! I’m just kidding, this bloodbath feeling has vanished with the passing of years.

Ha! Now you’re wondering what the f**k Spring has to do with The Gaslight Anthem and why I’m telling you all this.

For whatever reason I relate The ’59 Sound to Spring, so to Love consequently. I discovered this album when I was still in love for real, in Spring. Stupid references my mind makes up to get me crazier every day, what can I say.

Last year I had a crush on someone for more time than convenient, whom, due to his old school  appearance (high top sneakers and sailor tattoos) and passion for rock, I easily connected to this album, and to certain songs in particular. I know, I know, I know…  the fact that he was a friend didn’t help to work things out. Wrooong! Never mix friendship with intimate affairs, it seldom works, plus you take things for granted, especially regarding behavior, which can easily turn against you. Yep, he’s still my friend, but something has changed. No arguments, no big fuzz, just disenchantment. Guess I thought of a friend who could understand me, could occupy the vacant in my heart, but I didn’t think of my scars still present, still healing. And why not? Forgive me if I sound pretentious, I deserve better, and if that’s not possible, prefer nothing.

This silly crush arose in Winter, to die in the middle of Spring, and the soundtrack for all these contradictory feelings was The ’59 Sound. Fortunately I’m convinced that music is the most loyal comrade, thus one year after this episode which, believe me, didn’t hurt nor impact too much, taking it more as an anecdote, I’m recovering these bunch of songs, which evoke me stories at the drive-ins, with boys in leather jackets, and pin up looking girls, and I dream of a guy taking me to a Ferris Wheel , and telling me that If I never let him go, well he will never let me down… And I sigh!

And can’t wait till the end of Spring (ha!) for the upcoming new album of this band, to be named Handwritten, already cooked and currently in the oven for production. Never enough of The Gaslight Anthem.

WHEN WEEKENDS START ON THURSDAY…WITH THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM

Sorry for not having posted in so many days, let’s say last weekend, christened as the Gipsy Wedding Weekend, was so much party animal one, I haven’t yet recovered properly. In fact, I’m in the middle of developing flu or something similar, got fever, my throat sores and feel dizzy sometimes.

I got lot of work to do and many ideas, talk about joints, experiences, the album of the past week…but I’ve preferred starting to talk about the show I was waiting for so long: The Gaslight Anthem.

I knew before it happened the show was going to be a blast, and didn’t get disappointed, the band covered my great expectations for the night.

I love being excited before a show, and even more, not being the only one in such state. Cuque came from Madrid, Joaquin was as nervous as me, and Agnès’ dinner scheduled for that night much in advance, had failed, so at the very last minute, she also joined the crew, ready to see the guys from New Jersey. A few beers before it, we missed the supporting band, and arrived so on time, the opening music of Springsteen was already heating engines.

Although the venue, Apolo, definitely one of my favorite ones ever, was quite crowded, we could settle in a comfortable area, able to see the stage without any problem. You know girls we have so much trouble, I usually tend to move forward to the first rows to see something, and of course, to get into the show as much as possible.

Fallon and the rest of the guys seemed to feel quite comfortable with the venue and the audience, which was very cheerful and in party mood. Gotta say, the weight of the show, the interacting with the audience and the presence on stage had to do with him only. He’s charismatic, something I cannot really say about the rest of the band.

The beginning of the show couldn’t be better, 6 hits as 6 bombs, High Lonesome, Stay Lucky, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues, and two very special moments for me with The Diamond Church Street Choir and my beloved and praised Old White Lincoln, mixed with Manish Boy by Muddy Waters. And then The ’59 Sound. I thought I was dying of pleasure.

Then I had a break, some more relaxing songs, till Film Noir started…I love that song, and then turn for more hits.

We were jumping, dancing, yelling, involved in a teenage spirit I haven’t felt with a “new” and young band for long time.

I’ve been reading in forums people criticizing the average age of the audience, very young people in their twenties. Don’t think this fact is bad at all, eventually this moment had to arrive sooner or later, get to an age you’re older than the members of the new bands you like. Remember The Black Crowes, 20 years ago they were kids, and so we were. What happens now? Many of us are proud parents, even divorced, but still feeling passion, same as the musicians.

It was so amazing when during the encore they played a cover of my favorite song of Pearl Jam, State of Love and Trust! Only the old rascals in our thirties were getting mental at that point. Someone said something like Pearl Jam are in the status of classics…hope The Gaslight Anthem share the same position in 20 years, I’d hate they’d become a hype.

Another interesting thing I observed among the audience was that there were many people from overseas. I wouldn’t assure the balance was 50-50, but pretty close. The fact is that bands such as The Gaslight Anthem are huge overseas, performing sold out shows in venues with capacity of 3000 people, but here, in Apolo, this band was playing for 500 the most. On one hand I love this fact, on the other though,  I hate the lack of musical culture and tradition in this country once again.

And the closing song was Great Expectations… show was over, and we were happy, hugging each other, quite drunk and in a party mood, so much, Friday was a terrible day at work, but after all, as I lately say very often, there were no regrets.

I’ve found the set list, to be more accurate and for you to get an idea of what we witnessed, I feel sorry for the people who attended the show with the band opening for Foo Fighters, sure it was great, I love the Foo’s, but just barely 10 songs of The Gaslight Anthem is not enough.

  1.  High Lonesome
  2. Stay Lucky
  3. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
  4. The Diamond Church Street Choir
  5. Old White Lincoln (w/ Manish Boy by Muddy Waters)
  6. The ’59 Sound
  7. We Came to Dance
  8. The Spirit of Jazz
  9. Señor and the Queen
  10. Wherefore Art Thou, Elvis?
  11. Wooderson
  12. Blue Jeans & White T-Shirts
  13. The Patient Ferris Wheel
  14. Film Noir
  15. The Queen of Lower Chelsea
  16. Casanova, Baby!
  17. Bring It On
  18. Miles Davis and the Cool
  19. American Slang
  20. Here’s Looking at You, Kid
  21. The Backseat
  22. Meet Me by the River’s Edge
  23. Say I Won’t (Recognize) (w/ House Of The Rising Sun by The Animals)
  24. State of Love and Trust (Pearl Jam cover)
  25. The Navesink Banks
  26. Great Expectations

ALBUM OF WEEK 25 – AMERICAN SLANG

Still recovering from the hangover of the festival, I have two more pending gigs waiting.

Tomorrow I’ll see John Grant in Vilanova, I already told you about this, and if you remember, Queen of Denmark was one of the albums of the week few months ago.

On Thursday I have a date with The Gaslight Anthem, really can’t wait. I think this band is at its finest, and the show is to be one of these “I was there” ones. I’ve heard set lists include approx 22-24 songs…amazing!

I’ve been praising their previous album, The ’59 Sound, an amazing shot of energy, a very fresh and straight bunch of songs, now it’s time to talk about American Slang, a more mature work, still keeping the strength in their tunes, and the message in the lyrics.

To be honest, this album didn’t make such an impact on me as the previous one, yet the more I listen to American Slang, the more I like it.

You don’t need to express a state of melancholy, nostalgia or heartbroken pain by means of slow and calm songs, it’s true sometimes to make a point rhythm or tempo must work accordingly, and you know when suffering, time is too long, so probably in many occasions slow songs are more appropriate. This time The Gaslight Anthem might slow down a bit sometimes, and variety of tempos in songs is wider now. But at the end of the day it’s a matter of the message, and these guys lyrics are emotionally loaded, they are story tellers and troubadours all at once.

Personally, find these songs are constantly referring to the lost of innocence, and curiously, youth gone away, as if decisions and acts have put an end to happiness and fun. This differs from what I think is my current situation, after feeling heartbroken for months, I’ve come to terms with myself, enjoying friendship, partying and with hope when thinking of love, this might be because my acts haven’t had side effects and never had material values as to be attached to them for good: no kids, no mortgages, no pets…

The Gaslight Anthem were defined as the icon of classic America in its 50’s, I’m getting the point nowadays. All this street, outlaw philosophy depicted in their songs always remind me of young Brando, Elvis or James Dean. Tough guys living so intense, their actions bring out fatal consequences. Don’t know how to explain it better though… but isn’t a song titled We Did It When We Were Young enough explicit?

Even though the leader of the band, Brian Fallon, names the Stones, Dylan and other artists as the source of inspiration for writing about personal experiences in this album, early Springsteen’s influence is undeniable…and I’m not into his stuff yet (by the way, can anyone mark me the path to follow with this man, please?), but it’s so obvious!

But hey! Despite I felt not as impressed by the album, listening to Bring It On, Orphans or The Boxer is just magic. Fallon’s raw voice, yet very melodic, is charming. Lyrics are full of imagery, so visual, whenever I listen to one of these songs, I’m able to visualize made up movie scenes in my mind, full of cars, beautiful girls, tough boys and the smoke of cigarettes…Love it!

I’ve recently purchased their first album via internet, can’t get enough of these guys!