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Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Hold Steady

posted by on July 27 at 13:00 PM


I was going to post all these reviews in the order the performances went down yesterday, but I’m still far too excited about the Hold Steady to stick to that. Look at Craig Fin, for chrissakes! He is the world’s biggest spaz, happiest man, and most positive dude of all time. He did a kind of chubby running man. He shouted to the crowd off mic. He kept making that face and throwing his hands out to the side like he was giving the crowd a gift and saying, “ta da!” And I suppose he was giving the crowd a gift, as the Hold Steady are pretty much the perfect summer festival bandóbeer gardens and the Hold Steady go together like Tim Harrington and hot dogs. I didn’t notice what a giddy clown Finn is when last I saw the Hold Steady, on the jumbotrons at Sasquatch last yearómaybe he wasn’t as giddy at that showóbut the last time I saw someone looking that gleefully dorky on stage, it was Atom and His Package. So, well done, Mr. Finn.

The band played much of their latest album, Stay Positive, with highlights being “Constructive Summer,” “Sequestered in Memphis,” the title track, and “Slapped Actress.” They also played “Chips Ahoy,” “Stuck Between Stations,” “Party Pit,” and “Massive Night” off Boys and Girls in America, as well as “Your Little Hoodrat Friend” and “Stevie Nix” off of Separation Sunday. Everything sounded just right, if never quite loud enough in the busier corners of the beer garden. The crowd looked amped up in the front, but there was no way to get up there, and anyway there were even a few scattered “whoa-ohs” towards the back. I inadvertently taught some stranger about “metal claw.” It was one of only two sets I saw at Block Party that kept me grinning the whole damn time (Girl Talk was the other, but mostly for the crowd). You couldn’t ask for a better closing night headliner.

RSS icon Comments


Wasn't DeVotchKa the closing night headliner?

Posted by Nick | July 27, 2008 5:13 PM

Yes; I said what I meant.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 27, 2008 6:54 PM

Eric, I could not agree with you more.

Posted by katie | July 27, 2008 8:46 PM

The Hold Steady sound like The Barenaked Ladies.

That is all.

Posted by bryce beamish | July 28, 2008 6:17 AM

Wrong. The Hold Steady sound like the E Street band with less tuneful vocals but sharper lyrics.

Posted by Eric Grandy | July 28, 2008 12:02 PM

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