I am a young college student at a school of utmost prestige, Western Michigan University. I am studying to become a journalist, but do not let that raise your hopes for the quality of writing found on this site.
I drove to Michigan City and hopped a train to Chicago on Friday for a couple of reasons but the one that made it happen was The Hold Steady. The other was a fantastic addition in my brother who had never listened to either THS or Drive0By-Truckers the other band there. IT was great to spend time with him and also great that he enjoyed a show that he had no connection to.
Now to the show. I am familiar with DBT, but not a huge fan. I like Brighter than Creations Dark enough, but I am not super familiar with their catalog. They did however put on a great show, playing with more energy than I think I was expecting. They skipped over a lot of Patterson Hoods slower, more alt-country songs from the new album in turn for more up-tempo numbers probably because they want to keep the audience energized knowing what THS can do onstage. I was happy about this because I was pretty drunk and basically just wanted to bang out. Which I did. My drunkenness did force me to take a potty break during DBT's set however which caused me to miss most of my favorite song of theirs, "Carl Perkins Cadillac."
This was the third time I've seen THS live, and I think this was the best one I've seen. Less assholes pushing forward and trying to mosh instead of just jumping around, and more people just severely into the music. I mean, here is the set list I ganked from the message boards: Massive Nights Constructive Summer Multitude of Casualties Stuck Between Stations The Swish Magazines You Can make Him Like You Navy Sheets Banging Camp Chips Ahoy Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night Stevie Nix You Gotta Dance Milkcrate Mosh Stay Positive Sequestered in Memphis Lord, I'm Discouraged Don't Let Me Explode Slapped Actress
-Encore- Your Little Hoodrat Friend (w/ DBT) Chillout Tent (w/ DBT) Burning For You (w/ DBT) Ride On (w/ DBT) Let There Be Rock (w/ DBT) Killer Parties (w/ DBT)
It was fucking intense. Last time there was a lot from Almost Killed Me, which was okay, but I enjoyed this shows slant towards new songs and Seperation Sunday, their best album in my opinion. The guys of course looked like they were having ablast, with Craig FInn even telling a story about how DBT caused him to start THS and how they just wanted to drink beers and make music. Well they do a lot more than that. Finn's tales of boys and girls in America and all of their messed up little teenage lives can strike chords with any person who has had any issues, even if none of them are as bad as the Hallelujah's or Gideon's. They are outrageously compelling stories that you won't find in any other band. They clearly resonate with fans as well because of how many people scream along with Finn (ahem, myself) at the shows. Everyone around me by the end of the show was a huge fan and was just having ablast, and I wish I could go back.