At one point in his Thursday night show at Crossroads in Garwood, Brian Fallon asked if there was anyone there from Ireland. “We’re coming (there on tour),” he said, before correcting himself. “I’m coming. I’ve got to get out of the habit of saying ‘we.’ ”
Fallon’s band, The Gaslight Anthem, is currently on hiatus, and he is getting ready to release his first solo album and tour as a solo artist (there will be U.S. dates in January and February, following by some European shows in the Spring). His first single from the album will be out in 10 days, he said at Crossroads.
“I like it a lot,” said the Red Bank native of the album. “I know it’s weird to say you’re pleased with yourself, but I am.” He also said that while some people are expecting a mellow, folky album, it’s definitely a rock album.
Fallon — who has performed at Crossroads before, in February and December 2014 — was presenting Night Two of a four-night stand, and the show also featured sets by like-minded singer-songwriters Jared Hart and Matthew Ryan. (If you’re a fan of gruff but also somewhat gentle vocals, with intense, inward-looking lyrics and casually catchy melodies, this is the show for you.) Fallon was backed by Alex Rosamilia of The Gaslight Anthem and Ian Perkins of his side project Horrible Crowes; the setlist drew heavily from material associated with Horrible Crowes and another Fallon side project, Molly and the Zombies, and also included covers of The Kinks’ “Waterloo Sunset” and Neil Young’s “Long May You Run.”
Material from the upcoming solo album suggested that Fallon will not be straying far from Gaslight Anthem territory. Introducing the new “Honey Magnolia,” Fallon said he initially wanted to write a song like the folk songs he grew up with, but then added a Springsteen-like piano part.
Fallon sat on a stool, playing an acoustic guitar, and told long, rambling and often funny stories between songs. You could feel the crowd’s attention wander as he went off on one of his digressions, but when he sang, in that distinctively grainy voice of his, people generally stayed quiet and listened, appreciative of the chance to experience the music of one of New Jersey’s home-grown rock stars in such an intimate setting.
Fallon, Hart and Ryan will perform at Crossroads through Dec. 5. For information, visit xxroads.com.