Revisiting Gaslight Anthem and Other "Baby Boss Bands"

This past year and a half was a pretty Springsteen-centric one for me. It was just last summer that we lost The Big Man, Clarence Clemons, the E Street Band's mascot and longtime saxophonist at the age of 69 due to stroke complications.


Springsteen Stumbles On Pedestrian New Album Wrecking Ball

Aftermath: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band at Toyota Center

SXSW: Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Rock ACL Live

Then there was the reissue of 1978's Darkness On The Edge Of Town and a documentary that chronicled it's fitful recording and release before that. Discovering The River was another landmark.

And then just this past March, Bruce Springsteen released his seventeenth studio album, Wrecking Ball, to mostly middling acclaim, though it took me a few months to warm up to it. Later that month, Springsteen and his reinvigorated E Streeters stormed SXSW and ACL Live with a nearly three-hour set too.

The Gaslight Anthem, another gruff Jersey rock act, hits Bayou Music Center tonight with Hot Water Music and Rise Against. Touring behind this summer's Handwritten, the band has regained some of the spark they lost with 2010's American Slang.

The Gaslighters have shared a stage with Springsteen here and there, and have more or less been anointed by the Boss as a baby E Street, though they have yet to add a massive horn ensemble behind them. It took a whole horn section and one of Clemons' nephews to replace The Big Man alone.

The band, led by the very-Bruce sounding Brian Fallon, is just one of a few groups that have taken their cues from Springsteen. In late 2010 I listed a few other bands that bite from the Boss tree for a Rocks Off blog.

Since that year some of the bands on that list have either abandoned the hunt for the Boss sound, or just amped it up further, like Gaslight.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty