After an awesome night at The Revival Tour in Manchester I thought I'd blog about it. Not just for others to read about but partly so that I have written down what i remember so that I don't forget bits.
For those that don't know what the Revival Tour is heres a summary. Its four lead singers from four different bands routed in punk rock singing their songs and collaborating acoustically in a folk setting as a revival of traditional folk sessions where people used to just bring along their instruments and sing and play together. This tour involves Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem/ The Horrible Crowes), Dave Hause (The Loved Ones), Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music) and Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio) plus Joe Ginsberg on upright bass and Jon Gaunt on the fiddle.
I think what I loved most about this show was the amount of fun the guys were having up on the stage and the respect that they showed for each other, always hugging, shaking hads between songs and requesting applause for other band members. It was like a group of best friends playing together and loving it, where choosing to walk on stage and sing or play along with one of the others at any given moment, was expected. Thats the way folk music should be. This word has already become cliche when talking of the Revival tour but camaraderie is the only way to describe the relationship that these guys have together. I've never watched a tour like this and maybe I never will again. 3 hours and about 47 songs! My only regret is that I won't be going to any shows at the end of the tour. By that time the band will be more familiar with each others songs and more collaboration can probably be expected.
Already being familiar with the work of Brian, Chuck and Dave; Dan Andriano was the only person who I didn't know what to expect from, but I was impressed by his voice and his musicianship if his songs did seem a bit samey on occasion. There were a few highlights of the show in my opinion. First of all Dave and Dan covering Joe strummers 'Coma Girl' a song that I love and totally unexpected, second was Meet You In the Middle by Chuck Ragan with Brian Fallon on backing vocals, third was Brian and Ian Perkins playing 'Ladykiller' by The Horrible Crowes. The audience just went quiet for this one, in silent awe, most people chose not to clap and sing along and just listen as he poured it all out in a real atmospheric performance. My fourth highlight was Brian playing Senor and The Queen acoustically, I love that song , especially in this format.
After the show my aim was to meet the band having been unsuccessful in the two hours before the show. Dan Andriano came out first and he was such a nice guy, grateful for the praise we (the approx 20 people who were waiting around with me) showered him with and thanking us deeply for supporting the tour and buying the tour compilation. I got his autograph on the Revival Tour CD.
Next I got Dave Hause to sign my copies of his own album 'Resolutions' and My tour CD. I briefly discussed what a fun tour it looks to play on and he agreed. I got a picture with him and said that I was hoping he would play his song 'Meet Me At The Lanes' as it was my favourite so he asked if I was going to any more shows. I wasn't so instead he offered to put me on the guest list to the closest show to me which was Nottingham. I was kind of shocked that he offered me this and of course agreed, getting myself a plus one in the process. What a nice guy though!
Chuck came out next but I only saw him for a second as his hands were full. I got my tour CD and his new 'Covering Ground' CD signed and told him it was my favourite of his yet.
It turned out that Brian Fallon was already on the bus so we asked Chuck to get him to come out and he eventually did, and was surrounded by the group. It was clear that most fans in the audience were Brian or Gaslight Anthem fans throughout the show and this made it clearer as the other guys got no where near the same attention.
I remember last time the Gaslight Anthem played Manchester. I got the chance to speak to Brian briefly and get an autograph on my 59' Sound cover but I thought asking for a picture would be a bit pushy so I didn't, and have regretted it ever since. This time I was hoping to get another chance and after waiting around for the band for a few hours before this show I thought I may not get the chance again. Luckily after the show I got my chance to get a picture with one of my heroes. I think what made it for me though were the conversations I had with him so I wanted to summarise here what Brian said and some things that we talked about, which may interest a few fans out there:
One girl wanted him to sign her tattoo on her leg in so that some tatto artist would be able to do it for her. Brian was hesitant to do this and tried to get her to reconsider, saying take this from me I'm covered in tattoos I don't like, this is another mans autograph on your body, it will be there on your wedding night etc. I thought this was nice of him to try and talk her out of it, but she wasn't having any of it so he signed her leg and from what I know (another Dimestore Saint) she is now tattooed.
One fan told Brian he'd recorded an EP and when asked if it was good the lad wasn't too confident. Brian told him to be more confident, believe in his work, asking if it was true, if it was real. He told him that if he's written songs to write them to the absolute best that they can be and to just believe in yourself, making the point that this was the only few minutes he would have to inspire this kid so he wanted to make his words count. It was quite inspiring to me to hear him talk like that, being a songwriter myself.
Once I had my picture taken with him I thanked him for the Manchester show when I requested 'The Patient Ferris Wheel' for my birthday in November 2010. Brian had announced it on stage saying "This is a request, Have a great birthday tomorrow" before getting into it and I wanted to show my appreciation. I said you won't remember but I requested that song for my birthday and he said "I don't remember" but was glad he could help me out because he doesn't always take kindly to requests. Mostly its when people shout out for songs and interrupt though whereas I had a conversation with him before the show to put my request in. He told of one guy at Bristol Revival Tour the night before, who just kept shouting a song title over and over and Brian got annoyed saying Im much more less likely to play it if people shout it like that. I think thats fair enough, he said people who persist he would have thrown out because they impair the enjoyment of people around them and this is important to Brian. At this point I asked Brian if he'd seen the You Tube video of Dave Grohl kicking a fan out of the Foo Fighters show. He hadn't seen it but I recommended he did and he smiled and winked at me.
Next one guy asked if they enjoyed Glastonbury, but he was referring to when Bruce Springsteen joined them on stage. At this point I cringed, in fact I actually said people have asked you about that so many times it makes me cringe when I hear it and Brian turned to me with a smirk and said "It makes me cringe too"
He went on to stress that he does love the guy (Bruce) but he knows him on a personal level too, recalling a time when he invited his whole block round for a barbecue and Bruce asked to come. Brian told him that all these people would be there and they know who he is but Bruce still went round. Brian wants to concentrate on being Brian Fallon for now and find out who he is as opposed to all these comparisons with Bruce Springsteen and stressed that people shouldn't like him just because they like Bruce.
When discussing the new album Brian said he is writing songs on the road whilst on The Revival Tour but that they had recorded 11 songs. Brian wants 40 though which I gotta admit is Springsteen-esque but I wouldn't say it to him. I asked if Biloxi Parish would be on it and he said it probably would. When I asked him about it he said it is a place in Louisiana and when he was passing through there he hadn't been home in 6 months and missed it. The song is about those feelings and getting home from a long time on the road and is not actually about Biloxi Parish the place. This is obvious from the lyrics now but it was cool to hear it from him because he doesn't often divulge too much about his song meanings, preferring fans to make up their own minds.
Other bits of chit chat were about the tour bus. I asked if on the top floor its just a load of mattresses but he said its bunks and that he gets a surprisingly good sleep on there whereas I presumed it would be an uncomfortable kind of broken sleep. Brian mentioned his dog Frank currently staying with Alex Levine and his wife. Brian has him trained not to pee indoors but apparently he keeps doing it at Alex's. I asked him if he was worried that Frank would pee all over his house when he gets home and he did say he was worried about it. Frank is a rescued dog for those who don't know.
In the end most fans had dispersed and there was only myself and a fellow dimestore saint left Brian signed my 'Elsie' and tour compilation and I shook his hand and told me he'd just topped off a great night for me, and a great night it was.
As I left I maged to chat to Ian who loved my Johnny Cupcakes T shirt and was wearing one himself. He actually said he had mine on the bus too. I got a picture and an autograph, he seemed like a really cool guy with a good sense of humour, Id have liked to chat with him longer but it was after 1am with this point, I had work the next day and the band needed to sleep at some point too.
I may add to this in the future when other bits and bobs come back to me, I know some bits may seem a bit pointless but they're there for you to read anyway.
Here are a few of my photos from the Manchester show.
Not forgetting my song of the blog. This time its Great Expectations (the Revival Tour version as filmed by ihearttheweakerthans on You Tube. Its in HD with decent sound too. Take a look below! Hopefully I'll get around to writing up the Nottingham leg soon!