- kristyn wrote:
- Welcome! Great username! Post your essay! :-)
Thank you! and here it is....
Just Like A Tomb
Over the past year or two I discovered some of the greatest music I have ever heard. Among these great artists is one that has influenced me greatly. This band goes by the name “The Gaslight Anthem” and has helped me greatly over the past two years. Their music has been an outlet for me when I am down, a joy when I am up, and an overall reminder about what it is to be a good person. I’ll get to that last part later, because what I’m saying is that these for guys from New Jersey have created something that touches the lives of so many people.
One song of theirs, titled “Even Cowgirls get the Blues” slowly grew on me. It opens up with a warm bluesy sounding guitar riff that tramples along the blues scale. The guitars peters out and thus begins the ¾ time croon of the opening lyrics. The singer, Brian Fallon, is discussing what I assume to be his life in this song. He assumes that his friends who he has not heard from in a while have gotten married and had children. He on the other hand is living life, seeing as he hasn’t “traded [his] memories for Fairview and Acres”. The chorus goes on to show how he is still who he has been all these years, he’s still listening to Tom Petty and making some girls dad crazy. The second verse is what really drew me to this song though. Brian belts out “ But all I want is for you to be alright and satisfied”, and goes on to say to his friends that he is still there for them. Overall, this song has a nostalgic feel that makes me look back to my friends.
The second verse is so hard hitting to me because I share that sentiment strongly. I don’t care how long it has been, if you need help just call me. I, too, will be “open ears though tired eyes”. This song, like most of the songs on the album ‘The ’59 Sound’ contains lyrics that make me look at myself. A song like this makes me think about my friendships and how I interact with people. “Even Cowgirls Get The Blues” is a piece of music that conveys a message that I wish many people knew about me; I am doing my own thing, just like you. But I’m still here if you ever need me.
Another example of the powerful emotion that the music of The Gaslight Anthem often contains is in a video that can be found on the internet. The video appears to be shot in a bathroom, my guess is backstage before a concert. The video itself is an acoustic rendition of the song “She Loves You”. The song discusses a relationship that seems to be failing. The duration of the song is just Brian and a guitar belting out lyrics with unrivaled emotion. The end of the song is a series of chords played under the repeated phrase “do you miss her right now?” At the very end, in the last seconds of the song while Brian sings “do you miss her right now?”, her turns away with what looks to be tears in his eyes.
Watching his performance of this song gives me goose bumps and has on at least one occasion made me cry. My own recent past bleeds with this song. Because I was the other end of the relationship being sung about, and it hurts. Even though I didn’t quite feel the same way and I knew something was wrong I still love her. And, Brian, I do miss her right now. This song makes me think of her and I do every day. The echoing words and strummed chords in that video pound thoughts in my head. It makes me repeat everything that happened, two years. It helps me think of what I could have done, what I have learned from it, and how I will and have improved myself.
This band is a shining example of what it means to be good human beings. Just like they said in the song Too Much Blood, “I am no angel, but I’ve got nothing to hide”. They aren’t perfect, they’re solidly decent people. By reading and listening to interviews, this becomes very apparent. The band discusses as a whole that the foundation of their music is punk at what it means. Drummer Benny Horowitz says how Punk is the place where the kid who is made fun of can go. The overall message that the interview gives is that punk is a lifestyle. A lifestyle of being yourself and doing what you believe in. A lifestyle where you do the right thing because it is the right thing.
All of those interview have resonated with me so well. Having been bullied through parts of grade school and in to high school, this mindset is something if have turned to. It was a place where I wish I would have gone. What I am becoming is a person who does what he believes, stands up for what’s right, and tries to be a good person. An ethos like this brings me in closer to the music of The Gaslight Anthem.
I had the fortune to see the Gaslight Anthem play, and hopefully this fall I will see them again. I saw them at Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Making the two hour drive from Columbus was easy, as it was fueled by snack foods and music. I had Social Distortion and Gaslight albums on repeat the whole may down. As I walked to the venue I got lost and somehow ended up behind the building. Sitting out back by their bus was half the band. Brian Fallon and Alex Levine sat there having a cigarette. I waved and shouted “Hey, Brian Fallon!”. Brian just glared at me; he looked like he just woke up. Waiting in line I met a great group of people. We both had gone to Catholic High Schools and were discussing that. At some point, guitarist Alex Rosamilia went across the street to grab a sandwich. I thought it was cool to see them, as most concerts the band is behind a giant fence or a concrete wall. I stood in the very front of the venue next to the people I was talking to. I never got that girls number, and I kick myself for it now. The concert itself was incredible. The crowd was so alive and there was so much energy. It had to have been the greatest concert I had ever seen. The band ended with “American Slang” and the crowd lost it. Everyone was waving their arms and singing along, and it was one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had.
What I realized from this concert was something very important. I had a lot in common with a lot of the people attending the show. I realized that after years of isolating myself and not being very social, that there are people like me and share many interests. Seeing The Gaslight Anthem live was eye opening to me. It showed me that there are good people out there, I just have to be friendly and meet them.
What The Gaslight Anthem is to me, is more than just a band. It is a culmination of feelings and beliefs, both ones I share and ones that I have opened my eyes to. To me, their music is a representation of life. The good, the bad, the happy and sad, it’s all what you can make of it. There has been a sure influence of theirs on me and I carry many of their songs as a comfort, wherever I go.