Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Hold Steady in Atlanta

Last night we were running late for the Hold Steady show. To make matters worse there was a Georgia Tech game which held us up in traffic. We pull up to the club and what do you know, there's no opener. I could hear Craig wailing as we parked the car. The show was at the Tabernacle here in Atlanta. It used to be a House of Blues, to give you a bit of perspective on the size. The only two bands at the show were, of course, The Hold Steady, and the Drive-By Truckers, in what is being called the Rock and Roll Means Well Tour.

We got in the doors a little bit later then we had hoped for and we missed a few songs, but what we saw was amazing. I asked some random guy how much we missed and he said they had been on for maybe 20 minutes. The crowd was into it, and unlike when we saw The Hold Steady in Athens a few months back, this audience was devoid of all frat boys and jocks (who no doubt decided to get drunk at the Georgia Tech game instead). And while there was a good number of people there, the crowd wasn't packed too tightly, so Leslie and I managed to sneak our way into the center for a pretty awesome view.

They played a few favorites, such as Chips Ahoy! and Stuck Between Stations, as well as a handful of the songs from the new album. They still didn't play a couple songs I've been dying to hear them play live like Cattle and the Creeping Things. I'm trying to find a set list on-line to see what songs we missed, but I'm guessing we missed Constructive Summer which is a shame. It felt like the set was a bit short, no doubt because we missed a chunk at the beginning. It sucks that they were the opening act for this portion of the tour, but I guess Drive-By Truckers is the bigger of the two bands in the South. One of the members of Drive-By came out to sing a song with The Hold Steady, and it was hilarious because he barely knew any of the words. Because of the abbreviated set Craig Finn didn't do his hackneyed closing statement about how much the band loves playing on stage and how important the fans are, so that was refreshing.

Overall it was a great night. We got to see what was arguably a more enjoyable performance then the Athens show, even if it was significantly shorter. I picked up an new Hold Steady shirt, we left before Drive-By even came on, and home in time for a couple rounds of Guitar Hero World Tour and before bed.

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