The Hold Steady - I confess yet again that this is another big name band that I had not listened to beyond a song here and there. I was quite pleased with their sound as they brought more of the power to the pop as opposed to the opening band. Two or three guitars are rocking at all times atop a rhythm section whose lack of flourish but classic power easily lives up to the band's name. The crowd is singing along to the hits with no prompting, so clearly things were working for the band. And they earned it with plenty of energy and some songs that really pulled me in. Others seemed like rehashed old rock'n'roll moves, but the set kept pace alright. The vocal style was what I found really interesting with a story telling style that reminded me of Springsteen, Costello, and even Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy). I think that sets them above and lifts them above the many bands that could play this kind of music. Although this band really did lock in and is quite a bit more accomplished than the many bands that may play good rock'n'roll music like this. I have nothing to compare to, but I would guess this band delivers a pretty excellent show every night. I am always pleased to see deserving bands succeed in obtaining large audiences. I will add the Hold Steady to that list.
Quote of the Night: From the opening band... "This is the best DC show we have ever had!"
Well, a show at the 9:30 in front of 1,200 people probably does get you a bit more excited than your last show at the DC9, Black Cat backstage or wherever it was.