Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Live: The Hold Steady @ Bowery Ballroom 4.17.10

While I was not exactly relishing the passing of another year, the prospect of two Hold Steady shows on my birthday lessened the sting a bit. It was going to do nothing for my hangover the next day, but the prospect of doubling up while accompanied by the Brothers Johnson was more than appealing. In the two days between snagging tickets and the show taking place, word came down the pike that we'd be getting Stephen and Annie at the Colonial Williamsburg show to boot. It was obvious that it was, as the kids say, on.

I met Eric at Motor City early for some warm-up rounds and Dave and our Upstate Dignitaries arrived in short order. Much libation driven conviviality was shared. Eric and I crossed threshold at Bowery a couple minutes before things jumped off. Ran into Flynn almost immediately (who gave me the heads-up on the ticket sale in the first place) and chatted for a second and then staked out our normal real estate at stage left. I hadn't heard too much of the new record, and was frankly a bit on the fence after hearing the first couple tracks that they leaked. Luckily, there's something fairly alchemical about the combination of beer and The Hold Steady. Positive Jam opened the proceedings, and from then on, it was pretty smooth sailing for the duration. Franz is definitely missed on-stage. The eminently wise Mr. Gersztoff opined earlier in the evening that on principle, eventualities like Bill Wyman leaving The Stones and Franz leaving The Hold Steady should not be taking place. I couldn't agree more. That's not an out and out diss to new third guitarist Steve Selvidge (ex-Lucero, Big Ass Truck) and/or keysman Dan Neustadt from World Inferno, but you want to see the championship team, especially when they are coming out from a period of hiberation. Keys are now in the back and while Craig is still animated as all get out, you really miss Franz shaking his ass to every song. That said, our boys still aren't fucking around. The new guys come off a little extraneous, especially on the older material, but play damn well. Know that rock is still brought in a pronounced fashion. Here's the set list.

[Total Time 1:19:31]
01 [introduction]
02 Positive Jam
03 Same Kooks
04 Hurricane J
05 Cattle and the Creeping Things
06 Magazines
07 You Can Make Him Like You
08 Rock Problems
09 Sequestered in Memphis
10 Navy Sheets
11 Soft in the Center
12 Barfruit Blues
13 The Weekenders
14 Chips Ahoy!
15 Stuck Between Stations
16 A Slight Discomfort
17 Stay Positive
18 Southtown Girls
19 How a Resurrection Really Feels
20 [encore break]
21 Massive Night
22 Slapped Actress

Not bad at all. Even more so with the prospect of doing it all over again in short order. If it looks good to you, you can get a copy of the show from hero of our times nyctaper here.


1 comment:

Kevin Marshall said...

I saw them in Albany a couple weeks back; awesome show. Their enthusiasm for what they do is contagious.

(I blogged about it to boot - http://blog.timesunion.com/marshall/rediscovering-a-love-for-live-music-courtesy-the-hold-steady-the-linda/345/)