Last night, Brooklyn's Hold Steady played at the Opera House, and
although I figured that they'd probably put on a solid show, I had no
idea they were gonna kill the way they did.
If you aren't entirely familiar with the band, they're kind of like a
Springsteen redux who kick out catchy, fist-pumping rockers with the
Boss' same kind of unpretentious style of lyrical storytelling, while
also echoing the experiences of this current generation of
twenty-somethings more than any other, as they reference things like
all-ages matinee hardcore shows and whatnot.
And just like with Springsteen, the Hold Steady seem to write songs
made for performing live to a bunch of sweaty, excited people. Just
like last night.
And as stuffy as the Opera House can be for a sold-out show in a city
coming off an extreme heat alert, the heat and the energy just added
to the night, which started off phenomenally well with local gospel/alt-rock/country folkers Jon Rae & the River who swayed and danced and drank through a set that almost threatened to upstage the headliners. And maybe if it were any other band that would have been the case, but like I said, the Hold Steady are pretty much in a league of their own.
Actually, what kind of pushed the show past good and into great
territory was in how the band looked like they were having such a
blast being there, as they played through the bulk of their latest
(and if you haven't heard Boys & Girls in America yet, you really
should) as well as generous amounts of older, but equally good
It's just really awesome when a band enjoying the kind of success
these guys are can still look like they're having so much fun onstage,
joking around with each other, dancing and drinking. It's bands like
them that remind me why I like going out to see live music.