It has been years since I’ve had a chance to see The Gaslight Anthem. There’s something about that band that, no matter what mood I’m in, they have a song to fit it. It’s the comfort that singer Brian Fallon’s voice conveys and just this feeling of being wrapped up in the arms of a song to keep you warm. Cheesy? Yes, most definitely. But I know damn well you have some singers that do the same thing to you. When Brian Fallon announced his solo show at Music Hall Minneapolis, I just knew that that was a show I couldn’t miss and one that, in an already amazing week of music, I was truly looking forward to.
Kicking the night off promptly at 9PM was Nashville based Caitlin Rose. Caitlin’s voice seemed to fight with the sound of roaring conversations throughout the busy Music Hall MPLS but she didn’t seem to mind. She had this sense about her that screamed- yes, I’m here on stage but you do you! Sometimes this can get super annoying but for some reason it worked for her and, although the conversations swirling around me were super loud and easy to hear, I was able to focus on Caitlin’s truly beautiful voice and music. Although she only has three solo albums out, Caitlin came off as a pro during her forty minute set last night. Not just musically, but also with the way she played with the audience near the front of the stage. It was a hint of charm mixed with a dazzling smile all wrapped together with a Tennessee Twang and it was nothing short of perfect.
There was a punk rock feel to Caitlin. Although her southern twang came through loud and clear, there was this zero fucks given attitude that radiated from the stage. She didn’t care if you wanted to listen to her performance or if you wanted to continue your conversation. She was on that stage to do a job and she was going to do it. Although there wasn’t much audible banter between her and her three band members, there seemed to be this unspoken connection between all of them that lit up the stage with a very coy, calm and collected vibe. Caitlin’s set wasn’t the most energetic set I’ve seen but it gave me the warm fuzzies on the inside and that fit the rest of the night better anyway.
The only other act on the bill was Brian Fallon and The Howling Weather. Fronted by the one and only Brian Fallon, the group featured a hometown hero (who I didn’t catch the name of because I was so busy falling in love with every word Brian sang or said) on the bass. This just added to the excitement of the night and even though it was more of a laid back crowd than I’m used to, there was a sense of energy that had you completely forgetting it was only Tuesday and there was still snow on the ground in the middle of April. Brian and his band wasted no time and jumped right into what would turn into a nearly twenty song set. Although this show was part of his solo tour, Brian didn’t stray away from songs he wrote while in The Gaslight Anthem, Molly and The Zombies or The Horrible Crowes (two more of his projects that I absolutely adore) which had me constantly guessing what would come next when it came to his song choice. Although I was never right, I was always excited for what was to come and there wasn’t a single song that was performed that I was bummed about.
Brian Fallon’s voice is the reason I got into all of his projects. No offense to any of the band members who were all amazing, but Brian’s voice is just something else. It’s very smooth and calming while having this raspy edge about it. It’s like that blanket that, when you first touch it, isn’t the softest thing in the world but you use it every day and it has become the only blanket you use. Sure, it still isn’t the best feeling thing in the world, but it’s yours. That’s how Brian’s voice is. Silky smooth with rough edges. There’s a clear country influence to his voice but there’s also a clear punk vibe to it creating a truly unique sound. There are moments where the music made you want to dance and others when I was seriously debating if it was appropriate to lay down against the wall and curl up for a nap. It’s not that the set was boring at any time (because it wasn’t) more that the music was just so soothing and calm and the people around me were so chill that zoning out didn’t seem completely out of the question.
Outside of the charm of the music, Brian’s personality truly shined last night. The way he joked around with the crowd was priceless and had the entire audience rolling in laughter. There was one guy standing in the balcony that apparently felt the need to shout at Brian between every single song. Instead of ignoring the guy, Brian addressed that “Chatty Charlie” and responded to every shout that came from the balcony along with the chatter that came from the crowd. The entire set had a very informal vibe to it as Brian went off on tangents that seemed to come out of nowhere and go absolutely nowhere. It was that charm and that personality that made Brian’s set feel more like a show with your best friends in a garage than a concert at a fairly decent sized venue.
This week is truly amazing show after amazing show. It started with crossing Matt and Kim off of my bucket list on Monday night and then getting to hear Brian Fallon’s voice live last night. This week is going to be a long one but also an incredible one.
Venue: Music Hall MPLS
Average Age of the Crowd- 32
Crowd Surfers- 0
Stage Divers- 0
Broken Bones- 0
Spotted Flying Through The Air- None
Drunkards Taken Out By Security- 0
Celebrity Sightings- None
Overall Score- 9.2 out of 10
Show on Deck- New Rocket Union/ MakeWar/ The Lillingtons
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