In three days I will be at the CE centre to attend a concert I have been waiting for all summer, the live 885 (an incredible alternative rock station from right here in ottawa) presents Rise Against, Hot Water Music and the Gaslight Anthem. 

Gaslight and HWM are opening acts, but I could not care less. I have been listening to Gaslight nearly every single day since the winter of 2009-2010 when I discovered the the ’59 Sound on the very radio station I listed above. This isn’t going to be a boner post about my love for the band, and while they are my favorite, I don’t think I’d call myself a nutters fanboy. Yeah, sure, I have a Gaslight Anthem t-shirt. Yeah, I could sing every word on every album and yeah, I have sang only Gaslight songs at open mic nights but I don’t care what they look like, or what they do with their free time, or if their wife as instagram or what kind of dogs they have. So the bottom line is I am obsessed with the Gaslight Anthem, but not with the band. 

I like everything they represent with the words sung and strings strummed. The songs about the honesty in doing a day’s work, of equality and Saturday nights with the top down. I like revenge songs to lovers come and gone that you can sing along with in your car and feel like you’re on top of the world. I love how they love the radio. I like how they’re just a bunch of guys who have gotten lucky enough to spread what they do and make me feel the way I do when I hear them. I like keeping up with them in terms of where they go musically, but besides that their lives are their lives. 

I remember the first time I heard this song, “the ’59 Sound”, which, for the record, was the year soul music got its own genre label, I was driving in my van and this song started and just slapped me in the face like no song has since Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan. When I heard Brian Fallon hammer on a C chord tuned a full step down as fast as he could on his trusty telecaster I just knew that something was coming. Every lyric of that song drove something home into my heart that recently took a beating, due to a loss in my immediate family that took place months before. 

Before that moment I had not touched my guitar in about 6 months, let alone cared much for listening to new bands or really delving into music as much as I normally would. On the way home from school that day I bought new strings for my acoustic, got home, replaced them and learnt how to play that song, I have not looked back.

Brian’s writing accompanied by the musical pieces that band outputs really got me back on my feet. They didn’t all take my heart and throw it up into the air like ’59 sound did, but there isn’t a Gaslight song that isn’t good, or means something to me in some way. No other band’s music does that for me. 

So this Thursday I’ll be there shouting every word I can, watching the guys who helped me out, and continue to do so.

This is the ’59 Sound.

“You ain’t supposed to die on a Saturday night.”



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