The Hold Steady - Live At The West End

>> Saturday, 26 September 2009


Ok.

So, I wasn’t exactly enamored with Thursday night’s Hold Steady show, which was easily the marquee event in Winnipeg two nights back (fuck half-speed NHL hockey). Sold out. Lots of people looking for tickets.

And I wanted to love it. I wanted it to be the best show I’ve seen all year. I wanted my Facebook status to feature some seriously impassioned hyperbole. Unfortunately, I just didn’t feel that oh-so-wonderful connection the entire time, like I did during, say, TV on the Radio.

Part of the problem for me was the main set’s length. It felt too long and peppered with too many slow-to-mid tempo, spoken-poetry meanders that invariably caused me to drift off. I did, however, perk up instantly whenever Finn & The Boys tore into one of their 70s-rock-leaning assaults like “Party Pit” or “Stuck Between Stations.” Or during one of their big-ass, brilliantly realized singles “Sequestered in Memphis.”

But for what it’s worth, I suspect I am in the minority here. Most of the 400 strong at the West End seemed enthralled with the Hold Steady and charmed to bits by the surprisingly animated Craig Finn. He’s a helluva crowd worker and, well, pretty damn cool.

The evening’s highlight for me was the encore – it was saturated with upbeat, raucous tunes. It is the huge, anthemic stuff I feel “America’s Best Bar Band” do, well, best.


Oh, and I thought opener Still Life Still were pretty great and reminded me of early Broken Social Scene machinations. I was impressed so much that I’m gonna go seek out SLS’s record.

***

New rumblings at the Pyramid:

First up, a very very tempting show: Young Galaxy is at the Pyramid on October 18th w/ Bend Sinister, trEas, and Royal Canoe.

The Mahones perform there on October 6th w/ the Popes.

October 23rd sees Grady play there.

On November 9th, Mad Caddies play a gig w/ The Johnstones.

Trivium rock the joint on November 19th w/ Chimaria, Whitechapel, and Dirge Within.

One Hundred Dollars swing through town on October 29th.

Elsewhere:

Kelowna rockers We Are The City land at Sam’s Place on October 15th.

Moneen drop by the West End on November 30th.

Winter Gloves are at the Lo Pub on November 27th.

Infinite Playlist: Kings of Convenience - Declaration of Dependence

3 comments:

Dr. Devin King 27 September 2009 at 11:05  

Actually, Still Life Still opened the show!

Mykael 27 September 2009 at 11:43  

Whoops! Corrected. Thanks.

chris yackoboski 27 October 2009 at 16:15  

I would have liked to hear more of the anthemic, rockist stuff too, but the rockin' stuff was so good, and Finn was hilarious (as was the keyboard player), so I would have rated it a little higher. Nice blog, by the way.

http://scruffytheyak.blogspot.com/

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