Thursday, May 23, 2019

Live Review: The Hold Steady @ The White Eagle, Jersey City 5/16/19

The Hold Steady 
Live @ The White Eagle 
Jersey City, NJ 5/16/19

Beginning a spring time mini Northeast Weekend run, the Hold Steady kicked things off at The White Eagle in Jersey City New Jersey to a sold out house for a Thursday night show.

Opening things was John K Samson, frontman from The Weakerthans who did a solo acoustic set of some of that bands tunes and a few newer solo numbers mixed in. Samson stated he was amazed he gets paid to play and see one of his favorite bands in the world it was clear Samson new the crowd and was at ease throughout (Craig Finn later told a great story of playing Samson's hometown of Winnipeg and meeting him years ago).

His set started with "One Great City!" he proclaimed how much he hated his hometown and sang with confidence on tunes like "Reconstruction Site", "Pamphleteer" and "Plea From a Cat Named Virtute", before ending his set on a high note with the title track from his solo album Winter Wheat

The Hold Steady came out and kicked started their long set of tunes with "Hornets! Hornets!" as the bands meaty riffs and full band swell with piano and thundering low end got the small club bouncing up and down while singing along.

The three guitars were mixed a bit oddly as the sound took a few tunes to settle in but things leveled off nicely. Having recently caught the band in London this setlist was a bit more up and down and the band wasn't as locked in during this nights set, but the fans were singing strongly throughout to tunes like "Barfruit Blues", "Banging Camp", "Stuck Between Stations" and "Massive Nights" which received one of the best ovations on the night. 

Some individual highlights were "You Can Make You Like Him" which packed a punk rock punch as the band seemed especially locked in on the low end. The sweeping guitar solos in "Stevie Nix" were a joy as confetti flew for "First Night" and the newer "Entitlement Crew" proved it's worth among the old warhorses.

Other newer tunes like "T-Shirt Tux" and the debut of "Traditional Village" went as immediately loved but "Denver Haircut" another new tune shows lots of promise from the band. The fact that Craig Finn, Tad Kubler, Galen Polivka, Steve Selvidge, Franz Nicolay, and Bobby Drake are still crafting new tunes will playing the old favorites for fans means this periodic weekend cruising will hopefully continue as the band always deliver the happy to be alive and in the live rock moment goods. 
Support the artists, see them live and peep some video below: 

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