For a band that has played large festivals, arenas and theaters it was nice to catch them in their old natural surroundings: a small bar on a Friday night. The Hollow in Albany might have been an undersized venue but The Hold Steady put on a show that was huge, clocking in at 24 songs as the group went through its back catalog and newest album Teeth Dreams with equal power.
Opening with front man Craig Finn promising we were in for “a real good time” the newest single “I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You” charged ahead, adding more energy to the show’s performance then it contained on Teeth Dreams. Dipping back into their B-cuts “Ask Her For Some Adderall” was next as the group gave something to the many diehard’s from the Unified Scene who were in attendance.
A special intro was given to “Chips Ahoy” as Finn mentioned nearby Saratoga, horse racing and past bets. The energy dipped for the newer “Big Business” and pianos will always be missed on “Stuck Between Stations” now that the band tours without a keyboardist. Things exploded though with sing-along power for “Sequestered In Memphis” and got gorgeously mellow during “Almost Everything” and “The Ambassador.” The twin guitar attack of Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge highlighted “The Weekenders” and a cinematic “Southtown Girls” while the crowd chanting came back with a vengeance for the set closing “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”
The slapping drums and groovy bass had “Hot Soft Light” clapping and swaying while “Massive Nights” and especially “Stay Positive” saw beer being spilled as the crowd hopped around the packed sweaty room. Ending the evening with “Slapped Actress” cooled things off as the band clearly enjoyed their night in New York’s capital city. Having a chance to catch the band in this setting is getting rarer and rarer and a special moment was evident between the crowd and one of the most enduring live rock bands around.
I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You
Ask Her for Adderall
On With The Business
Stuck Between Stations
Cattle and the Creeping Things
Sequestered in Memphis
You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came to the Dance With)
Multitude of Casualties
You Can Make Him Like You
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Hot Soft Light