Monday, August 18, 2008

The Hold Steady at the Cats Cradle - August 12, 2008

Ok so this was my first THS show ever as I missed them last year and I was going to be damned sure I didn't miss them again after the buzz they generated. I love the album "Boys and Girls in America" and am pretty high on "Stay Positive" AND it was the day before my birthday, so no excuses this time, except I didn't have a ticket AND it was sold out. I had an unexplainable weird feeling of uber-confidence about getting into this show. So I just went with it. Sure enough I managed to get into the show (Thanks Billy, and yes I do owe you one.) just as THS were starting their set. Shoulder to shoulder with everyone else we were sweatily catapulted to some kind of rock nirvana. The energy of the crowd really got the band pumped up.
Craig Finn (who is the unlikeliest looking frontman ever) brought an amazing intensity and ,dare we say?, showmanship to the set as well as his trademark vocal/verbal irony. Tad Kubler supplied the rock on the lead guitar. His tone was stunning and his playing even better. Galen Polivka on bass certainly held it all together with Bobby Drake, these two are definitely the bedrock under THS's trademark throb. I love it when a band sounds better than their record and you know their recordings were not augmented by the studio but potentially limited by what can go through a wire. Definitely the case here. I'd list particular favorites but it was all good. (really). Although this stretch of back to back "Party Pit", "Navy Sheets", "Chips Ahoy", "Stuck Between Stations" was very satisfying indeed.

Here is the set list:

Ask For Aderall
Constructive Summer
Yeah Sapphire
Sequestered in Memphis
The Swish
U Can Make Him Like You
Party Pit
Navy Sheets
Chips Ahoy
Stuck Between Stations
Cheyenne Sunrise
One For the Cutters
Lord I'm Discouraged
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
How A Resurrection Really Feels
Slapped Actress
Both Crosses
Stay Positive
Most People are DJs
Killer Parties

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