Every single time I write about a Hold Steady concert I tend to write just how amazing the band is and never about the show itself. After witnessing one of the best performances of that band, and I have seen so many, that I realized its hard not to discuss how amazing the band is. Last night was the first of four back to back sold out shows across New York City. The Bowery Ballroom turned upside down with the legion of fans that follow and devote themselves to the Brooklyn based rockers. The thing is, The Hold Steady are not your average live band, they don't look like rock stars, they don't act like rock stars but are certainly the best rock stars to emerge this decade. Their fans are an army, one that will soon rival those of Kiss, The Grateful Dead and The Stones. The energy both the crowd and the band share together is just too much for words and needs to be seen.
Taking the stage around 10pm and playing a 90 minute tour de force set, The Hold Steady were delighted and grateful to host such a party. The band has become the road dogs of rock and roll this year, with a non stop touring schedule that has taken them back and forth to Europe, opening for The Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band and many festival slots like Hyde Park Calling, Mountain Jam and Rothbury. Yet last night, non of that seemed to matter because they wanted to please New York and kick things off right. It didn't matter that they have been on tour all year and will not let up till the fall, they didn't look exhausted, they didn't look like they had any signs of stopping. The only thing they looked like was that they were having the time of their lives and so was the crowd. I think I must have lost a few pounds after jumping around and sweating my ass off so much in the front pit, as my body aches today it is just a reminder of how much fun this band is.