Last Night Don’t Ask Me How the Hold Steady Show Was Because I Didn’t Get to See the Hold Steady Show
posted by November 5 at 9:40 AMon
The UW campus makes no sense unless you are or were a student. I am not, I never was. For 45 minutes last night I wandered its paths, looking for the Husky Union Building (HUB) where the Hold Steady and Art Brut were scheduled to play. I got to the campus late, I was in a hurry, and I really, really didn’t want to miss the show, but I had no idea where to go. I asked a couple people where it was, but one gave really confusing directions that just got me more lost and another (must’ve been a freshman) didn’t know where it was.
I finally found a soccer team of boys who knew the way—it was all the way on the other side of the campus.
10 minutes later I eventually made it to the HUB. I made it to the HUB just in time to see the college students drizzle out of the building and walk away saying things like “I love bands like that!” and “That was so much fun!’
“Is the Hold Steady show over?” I asked a trio of dudes.
“The Hold Steady show is over,” they confirmed.
I went inside anyway. I walked past the really happy singer of Art Brut as he carried out the last of the band’s equipment, and I bought a t-shirt from the merch guy who was starting to pack up for the evening.
Then I stared at the empty room for a minute.
I bet it was the best Hold Steady show ever in the history of all Hold Steady shows that ever existed ever. I bet they opened with “Massive Nights,” I bet they played “Chips Ahoy” and “Stuck Between Stations.” I bet they played “Southtown Girls” and “Citrus” and I bet they played a perfect version of “First Night” and brought out a baby grand piano and maybe even Elton John discreetly came out to take the piano parts.
I bet Craig Finn had witty things to say to the audience between songs, and I bet the audience was full of girls wearing colorful plastic bead necklaces and boys wearing glasses and sweaters who danced hard and sang loud and loved every second of it just like I know I would have.
I bet Finn’s old Lifter Puller bandmates came out to play a few tracks, I bet they played “Space Humping $19.99,” and I bet when the Hold Steady came out for an encore (because I bet they were called back for an encore) they had confetti cannons and a balloon drop and pyrotechnics that would make Van Halen jealous. And I bet as everyone left, they were handed a potty-trained Golden Retriever puppy with a big red bow around his neck.
I bet, I bet, I bet.
But I’ll never know. Because I went to the Hold Steady show and all I got was a lousy t-shirt with a mustache on it.