Some four months after his last visit to play Dublin with his band ‘The Howling Weather’, Brian Fallon returns with his former band ‘The Gaslight Album’ to play The 59 Sound 10th Anniversary Tour, a celebration of their most recognisable work, which tonight will be played in full.
Main support on the night was Philadelphia native Dave Hause, who along with his brother Tim on guitar and piano entertained a sizeable gathered audience who certainly were knowledgeable and appreciative of his music. His raspy deep throated American voice dovetails perfectly on a bill with The Gaslight Anthem.
Highlights include C’mon Kid, a song written for a brother, anyone’s brother, and the very stripped back and raw, not forgetting emotional We Could Be Kings. Dirty Fucker is dedicated to, it seems, the most hated man in America, Donald Trump.
Dave Hause is a talented musician and I for one would love to see a full band set up. Maybe next time. But this support was the perfect introduction for The Gaslight Anthem.
The Gaslight Anthem come onstage fronted by the strangely handsome, tattooed Brian Fallon and launch into a set that shows little let up for a large part of the show.
They kick off with Stay Vicious and Handwritten, this is a heavier show than Brian Fallon’s last visit to these Isles but to be honest it is obvious right from the start that this audience know The Gaslight Anthem. It is a good old fashioned, sweat dripping off the walls kind of night. And we are only two songs in. This Dublin crowd is bouncing.
It is four songs in before Fallon ventures a conversation with the crowd and all he says is “Now we will do the thing”. This is what everyone came for. Released in 2008 ‘The 59 Sound’ is the epitome of what The Gaslight Anthem are. Catchy punk rock tunes. You get the impression even if you didn’t like the band the crowds energy would just carry you along.
They play the album in full. The 59 Sound is bursting with energy and heart, I suppose it is their most well known tune but tonight this audience knows them all. Vicar Street is a wonderful venue, its square shaped and everyone, including those in the balcony are virtually on top of the band. It is a fabulous place to see any band.
Old White Lincoln talks to us about ‘high topped sneakers’ and we ask ourselves what are high topped sneakers?. Obviously they were cool in America ten years ago.
High Lonesome pays respect to the Counting Crows song Round Here. In that song Maria came from Nashville looking for a boy who looked like Elvis. The Gaslight Anthem replied ‘I always kinda sorta wished I look liked Elvis’
The intro to Film Noir has a twangy Dire Straights feel to it, Brian Fallon has a long love of Mark Knopfler, but this soon ends as the songs crashes into the crowd for its entirety. At least that is how it feels.
The band make reference to the sadly departed music legend that is Tom Petty in the song Even Cowgirls Get The Blues. It is the first noticeable let up in a frantic show but it just rolls beautifully.
On a random observation it is somewhat strange there has not been a single guitar change in the first half of the show. The band has three guitarists, plus a bass player and that generates so much of a full on sound with intricate guitar sounds and riffs mingling perfectly together.
The mood chills finally to the sounds of Here’s Looking At You, Kid before The Backseat totally blows the roof off the venue, the volume hits eleven and the light show is frantic. It is rare for a band to sustain a crowd at any gig but Brian Fallon and The Gaslight Anthem have managed to do that tonight. I suspect that if the gig ended now no one would care and everyone would go home happy.
And that was ‘The 59 Sound’. There was just a ‘thank you very much’ from Brian Fallon and the show continued.
The gig tailed off a little after ‘The 59 Sound’ and I suppose that was to be expected. The crowd clapping along to songs was quickly interrupted by Fallon who remarked honestly, ‘I love you but you are so bad at clapping’. So that was the end of the clapping along with songs. At least he was honest in fairness.
Howl is a proper guitar band tune and is one of a number of song that get an airing from the album Handwritten and the packed house is totally back on board again after a lull following the end of ‘The 59 Sound’.
National Anthem is the staple of any Gaslight Anthem show and Keepsake rings to the wonderful riffs and bass sounds of ‘Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’. And that in reality is how it should be. Brian Fallon doesn’t believe in encores and the evening finishes with the rocking American Slang, accompanied by Dave Hause. There was no doubting they were going to finish with anything else.
And that was it. A worthy tribute midshow to the fabulous ‘The 59 Sound’ and although the night suffered a slight lull after that part of the set, the band rescued the evening with a rousing finish. I have no doubt we will be seeing Brian Fallon, in one of his guises back in Dublin in the very near future and it will be a sell out. This guy is popular.