Brian Fallon brings his Songs From The Hymnal Tour to Chicago’s Park West for a beautiful acoustic showcase.
Usually when you see Brian Fallon perform live, he is with a full band. He just recently completed the anniversary tour with The Gaslight Anthem. However, the Songs From The Hymnal is a step away from this format, and sees Brian taking to the stage by himself with just his trusty acoustic guitar and keyboard.
He said it himself during the show – when you do an acoustic show like this, there’s nothing to hide behind. The lyrics and songs are laid out there for all to hear and offer a new poignancy to the words. The set covered songs from throughout Fallon’s back catalog, including his time with The Gaslight Anthem, Molly and the Zombies and his solo work. Changing these songs from a full band arrangement to these stripped back acoustic versions transformed them so they almost sounded like completely different songs. It forces you to listen to the lyrics and think about their meaning when you aren’t distracted by the spectacle of a full band performance.
This isn’t to say that fans of his music will be disappointed by this format. Far from it. The fans in the audience appeared to be transfixed with the performance from beginning to end, as they listened to and appreciated the reimagined setlist. With just 15 songs, it wasn’t the longest of sets but the time was made up with Fallon taking the time to discuss in detail the thought processes and reasons behind each song being written. And it wasn’t just a case of saying that “this song is about a break up” etc. Instead, the stories were told with such personal detail, and Fallon’s trademark humor, that you felt like you could have been there at the time. He took setting the scene to a whole new level. These tales truly made the songs come to life, and helped you understand the meaning behind the lyrics.
Not just anyone can carry a show like this by themselves. Besides the lyrics being very much front and center throughout the evening, so too was Fallon’s voice. The first thing that fans ever mention about the singer is his distinctive voice, and this tour, in this format, showcases that even more.
Brian looked slightly nervous when he noticed an 8 year old in the front row, apologizing to her mother that he would not be changing his set and stating that she’ll probably have some explaining to do to her daughter after the show. However he did proceed to give out some life lessons to the youngster. Brian Fallon makes no apologies for who he is. When he performs like this, you really feel like you get to see more of the man himself.
The tour is heading over to the West Coast where he will conclude the US part of the tour on October 27 before it continues on to Europe.