One time I heard the Hold Steady described as “Bar Rock for literates,” and to this day, I think that’s the best description I’ve heard of them. Thoughtful lyrics spoken story-like to the tune of hard-driving indie music with classic rock leanings. I suppose that’s an oversimplification, but it’s apt.
If you have never heard the Hold Steady, I suggest you check out any of their first four albums (although, in truth, I like Heaven is Whenever just as much as those other releases). The music pulsates and the lyrics have a certain kind of weight that songwriters often strive for, but fail to capture. Perhaps that’s what’s made them so popular over the years. Despite the departure of original member and musical genius Franz Nicolay, the band’s popularity has continued to grow in recent years and the Hold Steady now find themselves on the road supporting their recently released, Teeth Dreams, i.e. album #2 without Franz. If you want a more in-depth exploration of their catalog check out blog writer, Scott Mancuso’s, excellent analysis here.
I was bummed to miss them last year at the Harbor and tonight’s show at Town Ballroom will mark the first time I’m getting to see them live. I only hope that my high expectations will be met. From what I hear, they’re a true force on stage. Catch em tonight at 7pm ($24) with Cheap Girls.