SEVEN years since they announced an indefinite hiatus and four years since the band’s brief The 59 Sound 10th anniversary shows, The Gaslight Anthem are officially back together.
The New Jersey rock band opened the European leg of their reunion tour in Berlin earlier this week and will kick off their UK dates at London’s Wembley Arena on Thursday 18 August.
“I can feel it, there’s just something in the air [at the shows],” leadman Brian Fallon reveals.
“I can’t describe it but it’s a kind of magic, an energy – as if there’s an understanding between everyone in the room.
“Especially after everything that has been going on in the world in the last few years. I don’t know about here [in the UK] but for us in the US, it’s felt like there is a lot of division going on right now.
“But there’s something about music, live music, that brings people together. [We] can feel that on stage. The crowd just want to be out there, enjoying the music.”
Together with lead guitarist Alex Rosamilia, bass player Alex Levine and drummer Benny Horowitz, Fallon will play six dates at cities around the UK and Ireland, including Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin.
The band will then head to America to play their remaining 15 shows.
According to Fallon, the band’s return to the limelight is a moment he has hoped for since the band announced their hiatus in 2015.
The reunion officially kicked off in June with a surprise show at Fallon’s mate’s blues bar The Crossroads in Garwood, New Jersey.
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“It was a small show, about 200 people – way too small,” he laughs. “But to go from that to playing to thousands of people has been just a great feeling. In the back of my head [sic], I guess I knew one day something would happen. Even if I didn’t admit it to myself at the time, maybe I knew deep down this would happen one day.”
Plus, Fallon says, there’s something special about sharing the stage with his Gaslight Anthem bandmates. “I did a few solo tours in the last few years – but it’s not the same as being on stage with your bandmates who are your friends.”
The Gaslight Anthem debuted in May 2007, when their first album, Sink or Swim, was launched in US. By 2014 the band had released a further four LPs with the later two, Handwritten and Get Hurt, propelling them into the Top 10 in America and the UK.
In 2015, the band announced they were taking an indefinite break, with Fallon later revealing how unhappy the band were at the time. “We were all like, ‘This sucks, let’s stop doing this before we embarrass ourselves’.”
Now, he says, The Gaslight Anthem will be here for many more years to come – much like their heroes, Foo Fighters. In fact, it was the sudden passing of his friend and Foo’s drummer Taylor Hawkins that served as a reminder to enjoy life while he still can.
“Especially now, because we know what it’s like to not be doing this, you know,” Fallon admits. “We didn’t know if this [reunion] would work, we didn’t take it for granted that we could come back after all this time away.
“[I can see] us doing this for a long time – maybe having a break like six months or a year in between – and then coming back energised each time.”
With old bands returning with innovative ideas – such as ABBA’s virtual hologram tour – can Fallon see The Gaslight Anthem moving with the times and incorporating new platforms in the musical mix? “Sure. Why not?,” he laughs. “I get to be at home with my kids while the holograms play the shows.
The Gaslight Anthem’s UK tour dates
It’s been seven years since they announced an indefinite hiatus and four years since the band’s brief The 59 Sound 10th anniversary shows.
18 – London, UK – OVO Arena Wembley
19 – Manchester, UK – O2 Apollo
20 – Edinburgh, UK – O2 Academy
21 – Birmingham, UK – O2 Academy
23 – Dublin, IE – National Stadium
24 – Belfast, NI – The Telegraph Building
“That’s one of the greatest things about music. I think it’s great that there are these new ways for kids to access music. If our music ends up on [a platform like] TikTok, I’d embrace it.
“I also love that kids are getting to know classic artists like Kate Bush through TV shows like [Stranger Things]. It’s like, great now you’ve heard Running Up That Hill – now go listen to Wuthering Heights.”
As for life after the tour, Fallon says the band plan to create their six album straight away. And while it promises to be full of brand new material, there will be an air of familiarity about the album.
“It’ll still sound like a Gaslight Anthem album,” he smiles.
The Gaslight Anthem reunion tour begins in the UK on 18th August at London’s Wembley Arena, last remaining tickets are available now.