The Gaslight Anthem and Their Ties to The Boss

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The Gaslight Anthem are an American rock band from New Brunswick, New Jersey that formed in 2006. They have released 4 full-length records since their conception. Their most recent album, Handwritten was released in July of 2012. The Gaslight Anthem are representative of a long history of Jersey punk bands like The Misfits to bands like The Bouncing Souls. They embody that certain Jersey Shore Sound that we’ve come to know from back in the day with Bruce Springsteen’s earliest records. Like The Boss, the town from which the Gaslight Anthem is from plays a major role in their material both musically and lyrically. Guitarist and lead singer, Brian Fallon is a huge Springsteen fan, and it shows in the way he sings, his stage presence, and the area of town from which he came from. His other influences range from The Clash, The Replacements, Neil Young, and Tom Petty. None of those other artists really compare to Brian’s admiration for Bruce, however. He idolizes him as a person and a performer.

In June of 2009 Bruce Springsteen joined The Gaslight Anthem onstage at the Glastonbury Festival in England. Fallon was approached by The Boss himself, asking if he could join them in playing Gaslight’s “The ’59 Sound”, the title track off of their breakthrough album. Fallon said that Bruce learned the chords to the song himself, joined them onstage, and when they walked off he knew the band would never be viewed the same way again. The very next night Bruce was playing in Hyde Park and asked Brian Fallon this time to join him onstage to sing along with him to Bruce’s “No Surrender”, which is not only my favorite song Bruce ever wrote, but also my favorite song of all time.

Every time I watch this video I get emotional, imagining what an honor it must have been to be asked to join your hero onstage during a performance to sing along with him. I have watched The Gaslight Anthem transform from a small punk rock band from Jersey into heirs to Bruce’s New Jersey Rock ‘N Roll empire.

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