Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Live Review: The Hold Steady - Brooklyn Bowl 12/6/19

The Hold Steady
Live @ Brooklyn Bowl

This is the fourth year in a row that The Hold Steady have taken over the Brooklyn Bowl to host their run of four shows back to back titled Massive Nights. RtBE has been there since the beginning catching at least one show per run, and the packed house on Friday night was a blast of excitement with some new musical twists keeping things fresh. 

The band is always a great time live and their truncated tours, all based around multi-night stands in larger cities, allow the crowds to arrive from all over and soak the Unified Scene in. With their newest album Thrashin' Through The Passion released earlier this year, the band had a few more songs to pull from this run, but instead of skewing new, they went old the first two nights of the Brooklyn Bowl stand, playing a song each night which they hadn't played in some time.

Instead of continuing that trend on Friday night, they transformed into The Horn Steady, inviting The horn players Stuart Boogie and Jordan McLean to join for almost half the show, expanding the groups already over the top sound to soaring levels.

Before the brass joined the proceedings the group came out of the box with a strong "Constructive Summer" opener, powerful drums to kick off "Party Pit" and huge singalong for "You Can Make Him Like You". Boogie and McLean added brass runs for newer songs like "T Shirt Tux" and "You Did Good Kid" but also accentuated old school fan favorites like "The Cattle and The Creeping Things", "Sequestered In Memphis" and the whole runs namesake "Massive Nights".

The core group, Craig Finn (vocals, guitar), Tad Kubler (guitar), Galen Polivka (bass), Bobby Drake (drums), Franz Nicolay (keyboards) and Steve Selvidge (guitar), was in fine form and the added brass really raised the energy levels for longtime fans, it is small flourishes like this that make The Hold Steady worth returning to year and massive year. The night closed with more brass accentuation on "Hostile, Mass" and a blazing version of "Killer Parties" to wrap up the night as the band continues to sound rock solid and excited to be playing their positive jams.
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