Every year there are certain shows we look forward to attending that we plan months in advance and save the date on our calendars. This year for me, it’s Taking Back Sunday’s annual holiday shows, The Starting Line holiday party, and naturally, Brian Fallon at Crossroads in Garwood. For the past two years, I have made the hike to see Fallon perform old and new songs, and this year I knew it would be a nice treat.

The night was Friday, Dec. 4, and with a chill in the air, it was certainly beginning to feel a lot like winter (let’s face it, we’ve been spoiled). Arriving just in time to see my good friend Jared Hart (The Scandals) open up the show, I was happy to see the bar was full, the floor was packed, and merch was up and running. After saying hello to the dozens of people I recognized from work and my social front, I made my way to the ground to find a perfect spot to watch. Needless to say, I knew the bar was set for a great night.

Jared Hart has a powerful voice and exuberates an astounding stage presence, keeping the crowd in the palm of his hand the whole time. I have seen him perform so many times, and it’s very cool to see how well his solo album is being received by his peers. I thoroughly enjoyed his performance, and he got the crowd nice and warm for Brian Fallon.

Around 10:15, Brian hit the stage. He was joined by Gaslight Anthem members Ian Perkins and Alex Rosamilia, welcoming the crowd to what was night three of a four-night stint. Everyone cheered, ready for the show to begin. At this point in life, I think it’s safe to say everyone knows how much I support Brian and his projects, as his talent never ceases to amaze me. I find him to be a timeless performer; one who can literally pack up his bags, take off, and decide to do something new whenever he wants, and it will still be one of the most innovative things I have ever heard.

One thing I do want to mention though is his conversational approach to the crowd at these shows. This is an attribute that I always tend to really pay attention to when attending a show. Although that may sound bizarre, it’s true. Sometimes, bands can just talk for filler, but with Brian, he is extremely confident and understands his audience—and it shows. A few people may have had one or two drinks in them, yelling things out (nothing inappropriate), but Brian took the time to address everyone individually who had the balls to holler. In fact, someone came all the way from Australia, alone, to see the show. I wish I could have high-fived this person, but it was too packed to find them (oh well, another time). I found myself laughing and smiling without even hearing a single song yet. However, that would change quickly. Brian played a lot of new and familiar songs, all to which I was completely into. Gracing the stage for just about an hour and a half, there was not one person there who could have possibly been dissatisfied.

Watching the movements of the crowd, and noticing tons of Gaslight Anthem swag on the chests of many individuals, everyone’s attention was center stage. In fact, something that made me very happy to say the least, was that only about three or four people around me had their phones out the entire time, which means they were sucked into the show and living in the moment, as it should be. When some friends asked me how the show was, I found myself describing it with one word: engaging. I hope this continues to be a holiday tradition, because these shows are very intimate, warm, and welcoming.

With Fallon’s solo project on the horizon, he has announced a string of live dates with a backing band filled with amazing talent from various other projects he has done, including The Gaslight Anthem, The Horrible Crowes, and Molly & The Zombies. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for this next chapter in his career. Not only are we as fans and the media excited, but it appears he is just as antsy to get this project in the hands of the fans. I don’t know much more about this record, but I do know it was produced by one of the most talented humans in the business today, Butch Walker. If that alone doesn’t sell you, I think Brian’s timeless talent will. I am looking forward to being able to hold his new record in my hands, write a review, and spin it until it bleeds.

Hats off to Brian for once again providing his fans with not only a great show, but an overall amazing experience. Until then, keep your eyes and ears peeled for some more information about Brian Fallon’s projects at theaquarian.com!

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