Thursday, February 13, 2014

Live Review: The Hold Steady 2/6/14 Music Hall of Williamsburg

The Hold Steady
Live 2/6/14
Music Hall of Williamsburg 
Brooklyn, NY

What the fellas from Brooklyn are calling their "Tenth Anniversary Show" was more celebration of community sound and singalongs then mega musical expression but that didn't stop the loud guitars and positive vibes from soaring on this freezing Thursday night in Brooklyn.

The band tossed out a massive set of 28 tunes organizing tracks chronologically around their releases then mixing in newer tunes from their upcoming Teeth Dreams LP. The band started out in this exact room back when the Music Hall of Williamsburg was called North 6 (and was a good deal shabbier). Craig Finn told the raucous crowd that this was maybe their 11th year as a band but they were calling it their 10th anniversary before starting the show, "The only way we know how" with "Positive Jam".

The packed house sung every single word with the front-man all night long, while Finn made a resolution to not "fake playing guitar in 2014". After a few more tunes off of the groups first release the group played their new single "I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You" which fit in perfectly with the tried and true tunes. Early highlights were "Cattle and the Creeping Things", "You Can Make Him Like You" and the new "Almost Everything" which was filmed by pro's and the crowd for a future video.

Bassist Galen Polivka was a busy man all night running up and down his fretboard with bass lines and fills while drummer Bobby Drake kept things on the rails. The dual guitar attack of Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge adds power to the group but some of the nuance is lost without the piano, case in point is the truncated "Stevie Nix". Perhaps a touring piano player mixed with these twin six string slingers would up the dramatics even more.

The set closing trio of Stay Positive songs, "Sequestered In Memphis", "Constructive Summer", "Slapped Actress" packed a real wallop. The first of two encores was highlighted by "Stuck Between Stations" and the climatic "How A Resurrection Really Feels".

Already a fantastic show that had people losing their voices from all the singalongs saw things raise a musical level as some of the groups best songs flowed to end the night. The heartbreaking and alcohol shakes inducing "Citrus" the jump along "You're Little Hoodrat Friend" and swaying "Southtown Girls" were all heartfelt before the band closed the way it started harking back to the beginning with "Killer Parties".

The band has thrived, their amazing fanbase has survived and flourished and hopefully there are ten or so more years of Killer Parties to come.   

Some Video and Setlist Below:

Positive Jam
The Swish
I Hope This Whole Thing Didn't Frighten You
Cattle and the Creeping Things
Stevie Nix
Multitude of Casualties
The Ambassador
You Can Make Him Like You
Chips Ahoy!
Same Kooks
Almost Everything
The Weekenders
Rock Problems
Sequestered in Memphis
Constructive Summer
Slapped Actress
Certain Songs
Stuck Between Stations
Massive Nights
Stay Positive
How a Resurrection Really Feels
Encore 2:
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Southtown Girls
Killer Parties

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