The Hold Steady
September 30, 2010
On a recent Thursday night in Broad Ripple Village, a location that hosts six acres as the designated cultural district on the outskirsts of downtown Indianapolis, The Hold Steady took the stage at The Vogue. The Brooklyn-based band has been touring the US since the release of their new album, Heaven is Whenever which was released this past May. The Hold Steady consists of Craig Finn (vocals, guitar), Tad Kubler (lead guitar), Steve Selvidge (guitar), Galen Polivka (bass), Dan Neustadt (keyboard) and Bobby Drake (drums). Long time keyboard player Franz Nicolay left the band to pursue other opportunities in January of 2010.
The crowd was a mix of kids that were hip to the scene wanting to meld with the band, coupled with a sprinkling of older hipsters well into their 50’s. The latter was a surprising mix and could have mistakenly read the Vogue’s review of the Hold Steady being similar to Bruce Springsteen and showed up expecting to see a cover band of "The Boss." From the onset of the first tune, "Hornets!" it was apparent this was definitely not a cover band. The Hold Steady is noted for their lyrically charged story telling of characters strung out on magnitudes of drugs and the highs and lows of life, influenced heavily by Bruce Springsteen, hip-hip, punk and folk.
By the third tune, vocal front man Craig Finn had set the pace for the night with his amazing stage presence. The first set spanning all five studio albums. The crowd sang along with such an intense passion and love for THS that was simply amazing. From a visual and interactive standpoint, the highlights included a second set battle axing duel between Selvidge and Kubler, only to be topped later by Galen Polivka who, in gratitude, whipped out his wallet, tossing the audience all of the cash that was inside.
Overall, the night was a blissful and well executed lyrical jam and well worth the trip to the venue.