The Hold Steady @ Crocodile Cafe, Seattle. 21 October 2006
The Hold Steady played to a sold out Croc on Saturday night, actually it was Sunday Morning. I was surprised to see them playing the Crocodile, when previously they had played the larger capacity Neumo’s. They’re certainly not getting less popular.
I couldn’t help but notice the ratio of guys to girls at this show, there had to be about 5 times more guys. I guess the Hold Steady is not a band to impress your girlfriend with. Seems like they get compared a lot to the E Street Band, but I got more of a Guided by Voices vibe from them. They definitely rock, the guitarist has lots of tattoos and even plays one of those double neck guitars, the keyboard player looks like Rollie Fingers, they pass around a fifth of whisky, and smoke pot on stage. They ooze rock n’ roll.
The band really put a lot of energy into their performance, but a lot of the time I could hardly hear the much needed rhythm section. Singer Craig Finn’s delivery sometimes goes off on a rhythmic tangent from the band. So trying to dance or bob your head to songs, sometimes was not possible. Half the crowd is following the music and the other half is following Finn.
Song selection was mostly from Boys and Girls in America and Separation Sunday, with (I think) Swish being the only one from their first record Almost Killed Me. I don’t know if the show would make any converts for the band, but it was definitely liquid crack for any true believers.
Photo swiped from right-on’s flickr.