So I sang and screamed so much at the show last night, I kinda lost my voice. Oops.
To recap, I’ve been in love with The Hold Steady (and Lifter Puller) for a while now. It’s more an emotional than a cerebral—or even musical—thing. It’s definitely tied up in my undergrad friends, and it might be a little tied up in one of my exes? I started listening to them in 2007, but went to my first show at the 9:30 Club in DC in 2008. This was my 5th Hold Steady show. The others were The 9:30 Club again in summer 2009, The Welmont Theater in Montclair, NJ For New Year’s Eve 2012-2013, and The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ opening for Gaslight Anthem summer 2013.
We drove up to Toad’s Place in New Haven, CT. The venue has a rare wider-rather-than longer-format. It worked. The sound guys were fine. Deer Tick opened. They started out shaky, but built up to an impressive roar. Apparently their lead singer is married to Vanessa Carlton? That was a random duet.
THS played a fantastic set including You Gotta Dance (the only song they played from Almost Killed Me) Your Little Hoodrat Friend, Hot Soft Light, The Weekenders, You Can Make Him Like You, Ask Her for Some Adderall, Stuck Between Stations, Massive Nights, Magazines, Multitude of Casualties, Slapped Actress, oh look I found the set list, though I think it’s missing a couple songs from the list. One thing was odd. They didn’t close with Killer Parties. They ALWAYS close with Killer Parties. So we didn’t get the, “There is so much joy… We are all The Hold Steady,” speech. Ah, well.
They also played a few songs off of their new album Teeth Dreams. I have it, and I really like it, but I don’t have it all memorized, yet, or anything. Just enough to sing along for the choruses.
Also, I got to talk to Tad after. Well, I didn’t talk so much as I rambled and gaped at him. He was really sweet. I know things have been rough for him recently, but he’s been with Craig since Lifter Puller, so he’s my favorite member of the band. Damn, he can make a guitar wail.
Have I mentioned, every time I listen to Clear Heart Full Eyes, I unintentionally hear music as Tad would have written it. He would have jumped in with this kind of riff here. And the tempo would have picked up a little there, and that… That would have been the sweet spot in the solo. /shrug
Also, also, I got a great t-shirt. Win. Maybe I’ll see them in Asbury Park this summer, too. If the tickets aren’t mad expensive. But they’re opening for Drive by Truckers and meh.