Saturday, April 4, 2009

Live: The Hold Steady at Irving Plaza 3.30.9

It had been a while since I had seen the mighty Hold Steady. Last November, I guess, if you don't count the horrible episode of Live: From The Artist's Den that finally aired on PBS last week. Not their best show, although it was profoundly hampered by the venue. Bask in the nostalgia here.

This show was the first night of their most recent tour behind Stay Positive, but also one coincident with the release of the new Hold Steady CD/DVD set called A Positive Rage that's dropping on Tuesday. It was also an anniversary show for local radio franchise WRXP. I can't say I have too much of an interest in listening to programming that someone else chooses for me, but it was pointed out to me that city folk like myself don't drive, putting us out of the demographic. WKXP also features Matt Pinfield as part of their on-air staff, giving them at least one DJ with some depth of music knowledge. If people want to listen to this, god bless them, but why I was paying $35 (and .25?) plus fees is still a mystery. I sure hope that a good amount of those dollars found their way toward to pockets of The Hold Steady.

The interwebs tell me that this is set list. I vaguely heard that picked by someone named Jamie. I didn't hear who Jamie was, but it's pretty decent.

Constructive Summer
Multitude of Casualties
The Swish
Sequestered in Memphis
Party Pit
Massive Nights
Don't Let Me Explode
Stevie Nix
Barfruit Blues
Yeah Sapphire
Ask Her For Some Adderall
Sweet Payne
Most People Are DJs
Lord I'm Discouraged
Yr Little Hoodrat Friend
Stay Positive
Slapped Actress

Stuck Between Stations
Chips Ahoy
Killer Parties

It was sweaty as hell, and a pretty active crowd. Lots of the Unified Scene kids in attendance, both from in and out of town. There are a pretty good number of regular father/son combos at the shows and it was good to see them out as well. The crowd got a little bit old (ironic for it being so young up front) and, as always kids might learn how (or perhaps, more appropriately, when) to dance, but I'd give it probably a seven, on a ten scale. For a first night back, they were as untouchable as usual. Finn displayed a heretofore unknown hockey allegiance to The Rangers in the encore via a personalized jersey, but there were no other real surprises. The four dates the boys announced on Friday sold out completely in about an hour, so punters better be quick on the draw if you want to see them in the small rooms in the future. I will offer an extremely heartfelt FUCK YOU to Ticketmaster for selling off blocks of tickets to brokers pre-sale to the public, though. That's just plain wrong, especially for a band as righteous as The Hold Steady.


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