27 July 2009

The Hold Steady @ The Starland Ballroom Sayerville, NJ 7/24/09

Given my proximity to NYC, it's almost unforgivable that it took me four years to see The Hold Steady live. Considering they play the metro area as frequently as VH1 re-airs Flavor of Love, and half the time the gigs are free no less. But sometimes life has a way of getting in the way of concert-going and man is it lame when such issues occur.

And so it took until last week before I caught Craig Finn and company rock, in the most literal sense. The diversity of the crowd -frat boys, hipsters, aging classic rock aficionados and me, the boyfriend and gathering of friends- all sang along in a celebration of the joys and pains of youth and booze. It was a massive night indeed.

Bonus Spotting: outside the Wawa (the world's best convenience/sandwich store and a New Jersey institution) following the show a super-wasted teenager was wearing a white t-shirt that had "Boys Go For Looks" sharpee-d on the front and "Girls Go for Status" scrawled on the back. We approve.

Set List

Most People are DJ's
Constructive Summer
Hot Soft Light
Girls Like Status
The Swish
Navy Sheets
Banging Camp
Massive Nights
Party Pit
Don't Let Me Explode
Sequestered in Memphis
Stevie Nix
Yeah Sapphire
You Can Make Him Like You
Hornets! Hornets!
Southtown Girls
Your Little Hoodrat Friend


Stay Positive
Stuck Between Stations
Chips Ahoy
Slapped Actress

P.S. How do you know you're at a Hold Steady concert in NJ? Right after the band was done playing "Thunder Road" came on the PA and the ENTIRE audience sang along. Then midway through, the speakers cut out in attempt to break up the crowd and get people to leave. Nope. We stayed put and actually finished singing it in all its Springsteenian glory. Damn the dirty Jerz never ceases to impress me.

Constructive Summer - The Hold Steady
Atlantic City - The Hold Steady (Bruce Springsteen cover)


Dr Acula, but you can call me Frankenstein said...

see the problem is that they're always playing near you when VH1 shows Flavor of Love, and of course bad TV beats good music, right?

jesse said...

How was Titus Andronicus? I was bummed to be out of town and unable to insist that my girlfriend drive us to this show because I love the Hold Steady and Titus is awesome, and a perfectly fitting opener to boot.

Jess said...

jesse: titus were indeed awesome. they played for nearly an hour, quite lengthy for an opening act. also the hometown crowd went nuts for them, given their jersey roots. also the lead singer's beard is almost as impressive as their music.

and yes, frankenstein you are indeed correct :P

Julie said...

the thing about the hold steady that kills me is that one dude that looks like jeff tweedy and looks totally out of place on stage and like he's not buying it at all ... maybe his name is gavin?

i can't wait til they come back to fla. they're one of my favorite bands to see live (that actually comes to florida) now.