I realize you all are sick and tired of hearing about my late twenties ennui and perpetual discontent with both my personal and societal state of being but you must understand, things really suck right now. And while I am being slightly (okay, very) hyperbolic, like all exaggeration, there’s always a hint of truth behind the veil. In my case, there hides self-doubt, insecurity, anxiety, and constant FOMO (that’s fear of missing out for you non-millennial readers). But the haunting words sung by Brian Fallon validated the exorbitant Uber fares I paid to watch him sing: “If you still burn every night in the hurt, I know a place where the pain doesn’t reach/ Come wander with me.”
These lyrics also serve to quelch my worry that Fallon had “changed”. Sure sound wise he embraced more R&B and soul influences on his new record, Sleepwalkers, and, uh, wardrobe wise started wearing, erm, suits and stuff in promo photos, but Fallon has always been a balladeer for the broken-hearted, and that intent to prop up weary souls will always be the core of his music (also, he came out on stage at the Old Rock House wearing denim and a trucker hat, so, you know, phew). However, there is a distinct danceable quality to his newer songs, as proven by the crowd jiving during tunes like lead single “Forget Me Not”. And while Fallon played a hefty sample of songs off Sleepwalkers, he also featured several fan favorites off of Painkillers, and a couple of The Horrible Crowes tunes sprinkled throughout. The highlight of the night though, aside from Fallon’s charming banter with the eight and nine-year-olds in the front of the audience, was him playing “The ’59 Sound” on piano. With him alone on the keys, and everyone in the audience singing backup, he delivered a rendition that proved that he can mix things up a bit while hitting all of the same emotional notes.
And this is why Fallon continues to maintain such loyal and dedicated fans, present company included. He is a man with a purpose and dream, as stated in the song “If Your Prayers Don’t Get to Heaven” to create a place “where every soul hanging low found its piece of dignity. But ’til that dream gets to Heaven, you can ride this train for free. ‘Til that dream gets to Heaven, you can ride this train on me.” I suggest if you haven’t already that you buy a ticket. All aboard.