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Gaslight Anthem revisits the album ‘where everything started’

Brian Fallon (second from left) is back on the road with the reunited bandmates of Gaslight Anthem. | DANNY CLINCH

If you’re heading to see the Gaslight Anthem reunion tour, leader Brian Fallon has a request: just be cool, OK?

The New Jersey native and the rest of the rock revivalist band are celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album “The ’59 Sound” with a Saturday show at the Riviera Theatre — and you’d better hope he doesn’t catch you on your phone during the shows.

“I’ve noticed it more and more lately: You’ll stare out into the crowd and sometimes literally you’re not looking at the person’s face, you’re looking at the back of their phone,” Fallon said.

“It’s distracting. It’s like, are we having a connection here or are you just filming this for later? I feel like some of the connection goes away. And again, I have to say that I’m not anti-phone, I think it’s cool, but when you’re spending the whole time staring at the back of somebody’s phone, it’s a little weird.”


With Matt Mays and Joe Sib

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 11

Where: Riviera Theatre, 4746 N. Racine

Tickets: sold out

Now, Fallon isn’t about to go the Jack White or Dave Chapelle route and ban phones from his upcoming concerts. “I think people really could find a balance. You want to take a picture? You want to film a little bit of a song? Great.

“This happened last night, in the front row: I’m playing the piano, playing this real quiet song, and I stare down and there’s this white light just blasting me in the face. And I’m like, ‘Do you understand how uncommunicative that is?’ It’s so weird. But I don’t know, how do you communicate that to a generation of people who know nothing but a phone?”

On the heels of his spring solo album “Sleepwalkers,” Fallon is taking some time this summer to look back at “The ’59 Sound” with Gaslight Anthem, whose members went their separate ways in 2015.

“That [album] is where everything started from, and it’s something we feel collectively passionate about because it’s the first thing we did that sort of let the world know that we existed,” Fallon said.

Fallon, however, was ambivalent about the prospect of hearing new material from Gaslight any time soon.

“That’s a whole other thing, when a band does a whole catalog of music, and you take any band, you look at the Replacements or look at various other bands who kind of, at a point, go, ‘Alright, well that’s pretty good, let’s maybe leave it there,'” Fallon said. “But then they still go and they can play shows and celebrate what they’ve done while they maybe feel like they don’t have anything else to add to it.

“But there’s kind of, I don’t know, like a ceremonial kind of beauty in that, like you can look at it and go, ‘Oh, remember this? This is cool.’ “