I hadn't listened to The Hold Steady for a month or so to heighten the anticipation, with only a brief foray or two into the musical methadone that is the mighty Lifter Puller. The pot was sweetened by Drew and Flynn coming to their first show and the aforementioned Steven and male companion Mike making a rare appearance in NYC with their lady friends as the guest of the Brothers Johnson. Good times, plus there was no small amount of beer to foster a little crowdside bonhomie.
The Hold Steady were on by 8:15 and played a pretty decent set. If you are a FLAC aficionado, you can get a copy of their set here. It was most of the new record plus a couple dips into stuff like Cattle and the Creeping Things and The Swish. Terminal 5 has terrible sound, which was a mild bummer, but all in all a good time seem to had by most. Was nice to meet the lovely Joelle again and see some of the Unified Scene kids like John Cake.
Drive By Truckers are pretty great live their own bad selves. They are relentless touring machines that have only slowed somewhat in recent years due to their growing number of offspring. Patterson and Koob have had an on-line love affair for a while now and it only seemed logical that the two would hit the road together eventually. Patterson popped up during The Hold Steady set, grinning his way through a couple tunes and heightening the anticipation for their turn as the headliner. It was a pretty good cross-section of the last few records. Cooley continues to churn out great songs and he's a hell of a player, as is multi-string threat John Neff. Drive By Truckers are a hell of a live force and this night was no exception. I'd say they had the best of the Hold Steady, but both sets were as great as the company.
See you all tonight to do it all over again solo.