Tuesday, October 17, 2006

It was a blockbuster summer

Minnesota's own The Hold Steady are on tour right now, and everything you've heard at your favorite music blog about the band's live shows is true -- and then some. While the band's CDs come achingly close to greatness, only to miss it by a few tracks, the live show is the real deal -- the reincarnation of the fabled raucous bar bands of the '70s writ large by a bunch of dorky rockers.

I've read comparisons of the act to Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band before that band hit the big-time with Born to Run (the band's live shows at small Jersey clubs are now the stuff of legend), and the only thing that's different between the two is that the E-Streeters would often play three-to-four-hour shows. While The Hold Steady doesn't quite have that large of a catalog yet, the band's relentless energy gives you your money's worth.

When I was a little kid, the older brothers and sisters of my schoolmates would go to concerts in the big city (usually for some 80s trash act like Poison or White Snake) and return with stories of just how insane and debaucherous those concerts were. We would all listen wide-eyed at these tales, amazed that such acts could happen without police interference. While Craig Finn never pees all over the audience (as the older brother of a friend assured us the lead singer of Warrant did during Cherry Pie) then drags a girl up onstage just to molest her (he's too politely Midwestern and power-of-positive-thinking-y), the show does feel almost like too much of a good time.

Go now, before they're the next big thing, playing arenas and whatnot.

Edit: This video doesn't quite convey the whole experience, but it will give some of you something of an idea of what it's like.

No comments: