Posted in music on July 29, 2013

by Andrew Sacher

The Gaslight Anthem at Irving Plaza - 7/27/13 (more by Vladislav Grach)
Gaslight Anthem

As we just mentioned, The Gaslight Anthem came to NYC over the weekend for three shows (Pier 26 on 7/26 and 7/28 and Irving Plaza on 7/27). At the Irving Plaza show, frontman Brian Fallon started an a cappella crowd sing-along of Nelly, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and Lady Gaga, but the next night on Pier 26 when he tried a similar thing, the crowd didn't react nearly as well.

Someone in front complained about the song choice (Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance") and then tons of crowd members proceeded to yell "BRUUUUUUUUUUCE." Brian responded with something along the lines of "We're not doing that, if you wanna hear his songs, go see him," to which he got many cheers, but the crowd soon yelled "BRUUUUUUUUCE" again, and then he said, "forget it, we're just gonna play Gaslight Anthem songs."

Now, in a tumblr post titled "Tonight You Have Broken My Heart," Brian addressed that instance with a lengthy letter addressing those comparisons the band has long been pegged with, and the new paths the band plans to take. It reads:

Tonight we played the third show of a three night stand in NYC. It was a beautiful venue at Pier 26 and we played with one of my favorite bands the Hold Steady. But tonight, after the show, I found myself with some things I feel I need to say that have been a long time coming...

I play music because something stirs inside of my heart and it needs to be expelled. I have found from a young age that music is the avenue which relieves me. It allows me to say words and choose notes that speak to my own soul. It comforts me. There are people who have found something in my band's songs that speak to them as well. I've met some of them, they come to our shows and have purchased our records because they've found something that speaks to them somewhere in the things we have created. That, to me, is amazing.

However, I feel it necessary to address that we are The Gaslight Anthem. We play Gaslight Anthem songs. We're not the band you think we may be akin to. My name isn't Bruce, It's not Eddie, or Joe, or Paul either. If you'd like to hear their songs they are readily available and the former two tour quite often. You should go see them, they put on great shows. They play long sets over two hours sometimes. It's truly amazing to watch them at their craft. But again, we're not them. We have a different set of rules. We're on a different course, because we aren't them and can't be them. We have to find our path, because that's the only honest thing we can do. Which is where I find myself now, proud of what we've done, and where we've come from, but it's time to find the next thing. Time to create a new sound, time to create the next Gaslight Anthem.
We will always play those songs, but we will never be that band again.

Pictures from Sunday's show at Pier 26 are coming soon. Brian's letter continues below...

---

When I was 27 years old we wrote a record called the '59 Sound. It was our first break. We got to work with a wonderful man named Ted Hutt who taught us things we never would've known without him.

I was a kid pouring his heart out about what moved him inside and what I loved. Now I have to be a man pouring my heart out about what moves me inside.

Bands who have long careers change. Drastically. That doesn't mean they no longer like what they did in the past or what got them where they are. It means they have to create and be true to who they are RIGHT NOW, not be true to what people want them to be.

To say that bands don't owe their fans anything is wrong. They owe them the truth of their art. They owe them a performance of songs they've written at that specific show as they are that evening. The ticket doesn't promise what happened at a show three years ago, or five years ago, or ten years from now. Live music is beautiful that way, because it's that night only. It'll never be that show again.

When you go see a band it's a gamble, like going to see a movie. You may not like it in the end. But you can't change it. It is what it is. The only difference between bands and movies is that one show might be 90 minutes, one show might be three hours. But the ticket just says what band is playing. It doesn't make promises of that cover they did once,
or that guest they had last week, or... your favorite song.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about...

I love the movie Kill Bill. I love Uma Thurman, but no matter how hard I wish or yell at the screen, or insult, or wave my hands. She's not coming over after the film. No matter how many times I watch it. It's also not gonna change, it's not gonna add a scene or delete a scene just because I want to get to my favorite part quicker. She's not gonna make out with me because I think she's pretty. She doesn't owe me anything because I like her or her movies. She is not her work.

I am not my work. I am a guy who happens to have felt some things and gotten in a band that put those things to music and a few people thought it spoke to them. That's a miracle to me that I remember everyday.

I'm going to go away from the press and interviews now until we finish writing our next record and find out what we will be in the next chapter of our artistic careers. I have nothing left to say until we find what that next chapter of our band is.

To our fans... please bear with us through this awkward period of finding our new legs. I'm being honest with you here because I am grateful for your loyalty to my band.

To the spiteful reviewers... just remember no one's singing for you.

I'm asking openly and humbly that if anyone would like to come to a Gaslight Anthem show, please come because you want to see what we're doing on that night. Don't come to see Bruce, he won't be there. Don't come to hear a cover, it probably won't happen. Don't come to yell at me when I'm trying to share something with the audience to reach out to them about something I feel is moving me. For some reason I'm the one with microphone, which may be a mistake entirely. But if you want one and have something to say, please start a band, get in the van, sleep on floors, and work your butt off and maybe one day I'll find your band and I'll come see you play.

But I swear I will not yell at you or call out for you to play one of your influences songs... because I'll be there to see you.

Brian Fallon

--

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Comments (63)

Except your songs sound like all of my songs.... tisk tisk brian fallon. The only reason you exist is because of my band

Posted by Bruce Springsteen | July 29, 2013 3:43 PM

Must be so brutal to be compared to Rock N Roll legends.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:47 PM

so much bollox being written about last night's show mostly from people who weren't there - Brian Fallon needs to check his vgina and ego at the door, only person who ruined the show last night was him.

Posted by Andy | July 29, 2013 3:48 PM

In other words- we ripped off those artists for years. Now I intend to create a different sound, which will ultimately fail horribly. I will then release more Bruce and Pearl Jam knockoffs.

Posted by Brian Fallon | July 29, 2013 3:50 PM

1. This is why the Hold Steady should have headlined.

2. Is this some kind of emo thing? Is this some pseudo announcement that the band is going to become some Warped Tour pop punk bullshit? Or worse, some synth-driven auto-tune thing?

Bleh. I'm so glad I didn't pay $40 plus tax to stand out in the rain on concrete for this.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:50 PM

hahaha, what a baby

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:52 PM

could have sworn this guy was actually bruce springsteen

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:54 PM

The people pay your salary, you fucking wife beater.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:55 PM

If you don't want to be compared to Bruce, maybe you should stop lifting whole lines of lyrics from his songs.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 3:57 PM

Can't wait to hear Gaslight Anthem go dubstep.

I've always been a bit embarrassed that I like the '59 sound; I've got a weak spot for those kinda Waits/Springsteen bawler and anthem songs even when it's done by a mediocre hack like this guy. But he's gonna make sure before the end of his career that I'm really, REALLY embarrassed to have ever liked a Gaslight Anthem album, isn't he?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:01 PM

Bands that scoff at being compared to legends deserve the ample helpings of obscurity and irrelevance they will soon be dealt.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:01 PM

boo. fucking. hoo. people compare me to a rock legend and, when my band does a cover, people shout out other covers at my sold out show.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:04 PM

BRUUUUUUUUCE

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:04 PM

pretty pretentious

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:05 PM

Pearl Jam sure is wasting a lot of money running these ads for sold out shows...

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:05 PM

A girl friend of mine got to know them back when they were still on Side One Dummy and before The '59 Sound came out, and dated Brian for a millisecond. She was pretty indifferent about the whole thing. Said he had a very old school chauvinistic mindset about the relationship, loved getting head but never bothered to pay attention to her.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:08 PM

This band sucks. Come and see my band. You'll finally understand what it's like to get a kick-ass education at MY alma mater: Wesleyan!

Posted by Max Horwich | July 29, 2013 4:08 PM

So..... Springsteen covers bad, Gaga covers good?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:08 PM

Anonymous 4:08 - he sounds like the chillest dude ever. i love getting head too

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:10 PM

Brian, do you not remember asking the audience if they wanted you to sing Bon Jovi right before they chanted Bruce? For you to act like the audience randomly started demaning Bruce is absured.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:13 PM

Um...... did that Kill Bill analogy make ANY sense to anyone?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:14 PM

"I'm not Bruce, I just jack tons of lyrics/references from his songs"

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:16 PM

UUUUUUUUUUUMA

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:17 PM

4:08, nice try, he's been married for quite some time.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:29 PM

Lady Gaga covers stir something in his soul I guess. What a tool.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:29 PM

Glad it's finally clarified that Brian Fallon is no Bruce Springsteen. Good to clear that up.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:32 PM

Remember that movie "They Call Me Bruce"?

Good shit

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:39 PM

"My name isn't Bruce, It's not Eddie, or Joe, or Paul either."

Who's the Joe he's referring to? Paul is Paul Westerberg, or somebody else?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:54 PM

Maybe Joe Strummer?

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 4:56 PM

I never reply directly to these stupid comments, but one in particular I need to say something about. The comment at 4:08pm isn't true. I was dating my eventual wife back then and I've nothing but the utmost respect for women.

Posted by Brian Fallon | July 29, 2013 5:05 PM

The quick solution for this non-issue if it really bothers him that much: stop playing covers.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 5:12 PM

5:05 fuck you dickhead. eat a dude's butt out

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 5:25 PM

What a fucking putz.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 5:40 PM

brain fallon rules.

Posted by jordon | July 29, 2013 5:46 PM

Wait, this isn't John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band?

Posted by AnthonyCM | July 29, 2013 5:55 PM

I am a huge fan of Gaslight Anthems music and Brian Fallon is a good song writer. The show on sunday was great despite the rain but this getting annoyed because people shouted 'Bruce' is a little much.

Also certainly didn't agree with Brians comment that night "don't pretend you don't like lady gaga, I know all hardcore kids love lady gaga"
I hope that was a joke Brian because it sounded ridiculous.

the who cover to close blew me away though seen them do that in London. Shame they don't throw another cover into the set because they do other peoples songs well.

Posted by RIPtheMats | July 29, 2013 7:13 PM

I'm a long time Springsteen fan and I think this band sucks but The Hold Steady are even worse. Any rock n roll band that sings Gaga songs on stage are worthless as are the fools who yell Bruuuuce.

Posted by Anonymous | July 29, 2013 8:38 PM

To get that upset, when you, your old label, your pr people and everyone else involved milked the hell out of the Bruce thing, is not just ridiculous, but ungrateful.
You are taking for granted the audience and those responsible for helping you get where you are today. And to not be appreciative nor humble, when others would KILL to be where you are. You got to share the stage multiple times with an American Icon and yet, you feel the need to continually knock it and be rude towards a man who gave you the bump that changed everything.
There are politics involved when you voluntarily have put yourself into the public eye. You no longer have the freedom to just spit out whatever rhetoric you wish. You can, but there are consequences to this, my friend.
Hopefully, moving forward, you will see this as a learning lesson and be more gracious towards everyone who give you everything and only ask you to be gracious in return.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 2:02 AM

^ true

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 8:24 AM

Rather than releasing some ridiculous statement about having a need to change your music, why not just do it?

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 12:12 PM

"There are politics involved when you voluntarily have put yourself into the public eye."

This is true - you can no longer just accept head, you must also eat the pussy.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 12:26 PM

12:12 hit the nail on the head. In today's world, everything has to be over-communicated. It's a fucking mess.

Fallom: If you want to change your music, change your music! Just fucking do it! Then, if people ask why you did it afterward, you can explain your actions. Or not. Up to you.

But this whiny advance broadcasting of "poor me" emotions just sounds idiotic, childish, and worst of all, ungrateful.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 12:33 PM

I don't know Brian personally, but we have several friends in common. In reading this, I can't help but think that some of the phrasing is unfortunate and might be taken the wrong way in many cases (by Bruce, fans - you name it). I know enough about him to know his intentions are always in the right place, but I hope this letter doesn't do more harm than good for them. It just all sounds a bit immature, to be honest.

I completely understand his concerns about maintaining artistic integrity and continuing to evolve. But I also agree with the above comment about just doing it, not announcing it in advance, especially in this kind of tone.

At any rate, I hope this all blows over soon. They're a good band, and they've worked hard to make it this far.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 12:39 PM

Bruce has always been a poseur. I woudn't want to be compared to him either. He never went to Wesleyan.

Posted by Max Horwich | July 30, 2013 12:40 PM

Fuck off Max Horwich. Get a fucking job. Jesus christ.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 1:00 PM

If the crowd is screaming for a different entertainer than you, you have become a joke. Singing Lady GaGa make you a joke.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 1:21 PM

121 I believe you nailed it. I have been following music for a long time and I can't remember there ever being so many whiney artists before. Maybe Billy Corgan started it but my god enough already. Have some pride and humility would you! This guy is lucky to be where he is. They are a glorified bar band. That's about it. Face it, without the Bruce connection they'd be nowhere. That's probably where they will be be soon with that stupid attitude. And if they keep covering Lady Gaga.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 6:19 PM

I don't know Brian personally, but he sounds pretty butthurt. Buy a a nice big douchebag, get some Vagisil medicated wipes, and apply some Vaseline
Intensive Care w melon and cucumber. Feel better.

Posted by Anonymous | July 30, 2013 7:15 PM

You're absolutely right, Brian, you are NOT Bruce, "Bruce" I'm guessing being short for Bruce Springsteen. You aren't an atom of a fart Bruce cut in his post Born In The USA crap output.

Acapella of Nelly, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and Lady Gaga...holy shit you have AWFUL taste in music and of all the bands to do acapella of LOL.

I hereby rename your band The Assgaslight Anthem.

Posted by D | July 31, 2013 12:04 AM

D is so comically stupid. Those of you who even give one iota of thought to the nonsense and incorrect drivel this jackass spouts are just as stupid

(and wait for his "I know you are but what am I comeback")

(and he is getting angry. D is livid. Tool)

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2013 1:09 AM

^ Get a life after you get new material.

Posted by D | July 31, 2013 1:57 AM

The Gaslight Anthem often does beautiful covers of pop songs in which the meaning is re-articulated by stripping out the overdone synthetic music and allowing the lyrics/emotion to take hold. So, it does not surprise me that these covers were done at one of their shows. Any fan of this band worth their salt would be familiar with that practice and would have, at the very least, allowed the cover to be completed before screaming at the stage. I saw two shows at Pier 26 last week, The Gaslight Anthem included. At both shows, the audience was incredibly rude, and would scream at the stage to "Stop talking and play the music" when the lead singers would talk between songs. That is one of the most beautiful and exciting parts of a show for me...hearing the inspiration and back stories of songs. And any true fan of Bruce would know that the back stories are part of the experience.

Posted by Hunter | July 31, 2013 2:14 AM

This marginally talented, third rate Bruce clone won the fucking music lottery, and now wants to take his widdle ball and go home?? Suck it up, bitch. You are lucky to be where you are. Signed to a major label, playing to thousands on any given night around the world, AND his fan base still, by in large, wipes his tears away when he cries about the 12 people who chanted 'Bruce'.....when he asked for it...i hope this comes back to bite him in his sore ass. Pretentious prima donnas like this have destroyed rock music.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2013 4:13 AM

Don't worry, in a year or two no one will remember this band whatsoever.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2013 8:27 AM

I saw superchunk cover 'say my name' once - I don't see what the big deal is, guys wanted to have some fun covering some mainstream pop songs, what bone thugs song was it? Cross-roads? That song is awesome and my friends and I sing it sometimes

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2013 9:40 AM

940 If your point is that Superchunk are about as lame as The Gaslight Anthem, point well made.

Posted by Anonymous | July 31, 2013 1:03 PM

I was at the Sunday show. Long time fan of The Gaslight and my first time seeing them. The whole situation started funny but became akward real fast. Couldnt tell if he was trying to be funny, ironic, or serious. After standing in the rain for hours on a Sunday night, any of this sentiment was lost. I saw Avail back in 1995(?), they actually covered TLC's "Waterfalls". It was hillarious and fun. They didnt ask the crowd if they wanted to hear it or sing along like Brian did, they just played it. I had a good vibe when they started, but after he told the crowd that "they ruined it", the good vibe was gone. I never yelled Bruce nor did I care what they played but either way it was ruined for me

Posted by Nick not Knick | July 31, 2013 4:23 PM

If you all think this is something to talk about, you would have loved to rip on Dylan in his early days. As Jim Morrison often screamed to his audience....."Shut Up!"

Posted by JR | July 31, 2013 4:49 PM

The key statement is "we will never be that band." There's absolutely nothing wrong with having a wide of variety of sounds and influences, but their music went distinctly downhill when they self-consciously shunned their Springsteen influences which just kind of seemed like a natural part of them. That's why the '59 Sound and Sink or Swim will probably always be their best albums. They were so honest, the latest albums seem much more plotted, again, like the way they just sort of left their Springsteen influence by the wayside because they got a bit big for their britches and thought they were better than what really made them tick to begin with. At least that's the way it seems to me...

Posted by James | January 23, 2014 1:31 AM

I should really start sharing music findings not only on FB but also here -- think this is a nice one to start with:
Here in the dark, I cherish the moonlight
I'm in love with the way you're in love with the night
And it travels from heart to limb to pen

Posted by Brianna | February 26, 2014 8:05 AM

I just heard this band this past year on Later with Jools Holland and wow, my new favorite band!

Posted by Brown | March 27, 2014 3:04 PM

In addition to the idea that she performs well she can do absolutely nothing.

Posted by Luka | May 16, 2014 1:35 AM

I was at this show. Bloogged about here at New Age Vinyl: http://www.newagevinyl.com/featured-artists/the-gaslight-anthem/

Posted by New Age Vinyl | June 5, 2014 10:18 AM

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