Event: Brian Fallon at Crossroads
Brian Fallon has had a year.
He released an album, Sleepwalkers, in February, and toured to support it.
His band, The Gaslight Anthem, toured to support the 10th anniversary of The ’59 Sound.
He did a smaller tour with Craig Finn of The National called Songs From The Hymnal.
And here he was, in mid-December, doing a few dates at Crossroads in Garwood, with his pal Jared Hart opening for him.
All the while, according to him, trying to be a good dad to his two kids, buying Christmas trees and getting down to breakfast early. Near the end of the show on Night 1 he said “Ok, we have to wrap this up soon. The kids don’t want to hear ‘I did a show last night’ when they want breakfast at 7 a.m. tomorrow.”
And so, on this chilly night in Union County, by the light of a Christmas tree stage right, wrapped up in his flannel and Chicago Music Exchange trucker cap (the same one from August?) Brian sat down and did less of a concert and more of a Q&A with the audience, punctuated by about 15 songs.
The set list was strong – a mix of Gaslight and solo stuff, no covers – and certainly no Springsteen music. Someone asked for him to do The Iceman but Brian feigned not knowing of it. (I find that hard to believe that a guy with his in-depth musical knowledge doesn’t know this not so, so rare Springsteen track, but whatever.)
Aside from the business of his family life, what else did the crowd learn (these were all questions of one sort or another from the crowd):
- That he likes mustard with horseradish in it.
- That his favorite movie soundtrack is from Singles.
- And that The Gaslight Anthem are not recording again, at least not anytime soon. Something I perceived back in August.
When asked the question, Brian quickly said “No, nope.” He then added “We’ve said everything we wanted to say. We’re proud of those records. But we want to want it more than you want to want it. And we’re still friends. That’s the best part.”
Speaking of friends, his friend Jared Hart opened. I think every time I see Brian perform, Jared is either backing him up or on the bill.
Jared’s new band, Mercy Union, just released their first album, The Quarry, so he did some songs off of that, along with other solo stuff and cover or two. (Mercy Union includes Brian’s Gaslight drummer, Benny Horowitz, interestingly.)
Jared has a big voice, rough and scratchy from his punk days with The Scandals. I’m never quite sure he fits in a smaller, quieter scene like Crossroads, but I do like his music.
And, like in August, Jared brought his girlfriend Casey up to duet on The Leo.
It was a solid opening for what was to come. The fans know the friendship of these two and are then, in turn, fans of both. It was a good night.
A final, fun shot, as Brian came off the stage. He give promoter/friend Andy Diamond a hug. (And I gave Andy a hug to, as he was the one that invited me to shoot this show!)
© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2018