“This is kind of like home. We are in the same league. I am just from a different baseball team.”
Craig Finn compared Minneapolis to Columbus during the middle of the Hold Steady’s St. Patrick’s Day Show. I was drinking one of those big ass six dollar Clear Channel beers, and looking at the Hold Steady front man like he was someone I grew up with.
I think everyone in the room felt that way.
The crowd was hella responsive and energetic. Clapping along, dancing, and just partying in general.
I had seen TV on the Radio, Wolf Mother and the Clipse the previous couple of weeks, and had developed an idea that its impossible have fun at shows that aren’t either in black nightclubs, like the Jim Jones show at Club Obvious, or aren’t involving your friends, such as Times New Viking’s Paisley Reich Fest at Cafe Bourbon Street.
Envelope claims it’s just that white people don’t know how to respond to music.
Maybe, just like seeing Dipset in a club, or TNV at Bourbon Street, The Hold Steady’s natural environment is a mid-west venue full of people that have fairly similar experiences as the band.
It was like the band was built for St. Patrick’s Day in Columbus, Ohio.
Drunk, and literate.
Whatever the case, the Hold Steady was able to put all the energy into the Newport, which bands like the Fray prolly suck out.
When dood says he is gonna walk around and drink.
You know damn well what its like to walk around and drink.
Dood is Tupac really.
The band cranked out the “Chip’s Ahoy” and “You Can Make Him like You” which delve on pretty universal experiences of relationships. But I there is an underlying attention to detail that you can’t front on.
When the band performed “Massive Nights”, lyrics like these:
we had some massive highs.
we had some crushing lows.
we had some lusty little crushes
we had those all ages hardcore matinee shows
He adds the little extra seasoning that let you know exactly what his cultural pedigree is.
This familiarity echoed in my head, when they did “Hood Rat Friend” from Separation Sunday. Where Finn talks about some girl everyone in the scene has fucked around with, but he swears up and down that he doesn’t want shit to do with her.
The band churned out its Bruce Springsteen meets Social Distortion sound to keep it even for those who didn’t go to hardcore shows, and know girls that provided oral sex for everyone you skated with.
The Hold Steady, shamelessly brought out accordions, played power chords and had guitar solos. Finn flailed his arms and commanded the stage.
At one point the guitarist was standing on top of the Newport’s 2 story speakers, while Finn held the crowd’s attention on the other end. Just by smiling and mouthing god knows what.
Crowd response was so good that the Hold Steady did two sets of encores. I am glad they did “Positive Jam” off of the first album “Almost Killed Me”. The very end of the night had the Thermals jamming with the Hold Steady.
I am 100 percent anti-jamming.
But to fully reach everyman status bar band status shamelessly wanking on one’s guitar is a must.
Score one for being a real dood, applying that to a literary concept and executing it perfectly.
Bukowski meets Patrick Swayze’s backing band in Roadhouse.(minus the blind guy).