ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Gearing up for an album release in July, New Jersey’s Gaslight Anthem have been spending a lot of time on the road. This coming weekend, the rock band will share the stage with a slew of artists at Metallica’s Orion Festival in Atlantic City.

CBS Local chatted with Gaslight Anthem frontman Brian Fallon about playing the festival to a hometown crowd and what it’s like sharing the stage with Jersey hometown hero, Bruce Springsteen. Having performed twice with Springsteen, Fallon said while in the moment he tries to not get into his own head.

“Springsteen just shows up. It’s just like, ‘Okay, this is happening,’” Fallon said. “You can’t think about anything because if you start to think you’re going to mess it up. You have to just shut it off and let it happen and then afterwards you can reflect on it and look at pictures and be like, ‘Wow, that was so cool!’ But during it, you have to stay completely shut off. You don’t get a second to look over and be like, ‘Check that out.’ It’s a little bizarre.”

It’s no secret that Springsteen is a fan of the band, a fact that Fallon doesn’t take lightly.

“It’s surreal, it’s the biggest endorsement you can get,” he said. “That’s a great thing to have a guy like that thinking your band is cool. That’s pretty nuts.”

Springsteen fans cross genres and while Fallon admitted he’s not familiar with country singer and fellow Orion artist Eric Church‘s current single “Springsteen,” he’s not surprised of his influence.

“It’s like Bob Dylan or Tom Petty or any of those other guys. They just strike a chord with people that doesn’t often get hit,” he said. “I think that when you can do that that makes you something special. You find that in bands that are being really honest and speaking about the world around us. And I think those three guys do it better than anyone.”

On June 30, Gaslight Anthem will share the stage with Metallica, Arctic Monkeys, Modest Mouse and more for the inaugural Orion Festival. Fallon said the band haven’t prepared any differently for the fest than for their own headlining shows.

“We have a different set every night so we play different songs, but you can’t really prepare for those kind of things,” Fallon said. “You get thrown into the so called shark tank because you’re playing in front of people who are, in this case, just waiting for Metallica to show up.”

Gaslight Anthem play from 5-6 p.m. on Saturday (June 23) on the Orion stage at Metallica’s Orion Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

– Annie Reuter, CBS Local

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