A Slice of Fried Gold

You Gotta Stay Positive

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Craig Finn pouring his heart out with Franz Nicolay behind him

This past Thursday I went to see The Hold Steady perform at Bear Tooth. I expected it to rock pretty hard. I mean, The Hold Steady are a ridiculously cool band who makes rocking tunes about drinking, women and life in general. In many ways, frontman Craig Finn is simply a storyteller and that comes out even better live. They pretty much rocked the house, as every song sounded just as good as the recorded material does and the intense guitar solos melted my face maybe even moreso than usual (that may have something to do with the fact I was right next to one of the two primary speakers though).

The best thing I can say about them though is that this is a band that obviously loves to play music. Whether you like their recorded material or not, the way they are obviously loving performing is infectious and makes the whole experience that much better. As Finn said during the show (and I paraphrase), "I was 30 and working in an office when I realized that I was really bored. So I decided to form a rock and roll band and by the time I was 32 we had played our first show." To someone who is looking for proper direction in life, Finn's words rang very true to me. What's the point of life if you aren't doing something you love? Finn clearly loves what he does, as he would encourage singalongs perpetually and drink Budweiser between moments he would need to sing (my friend pointed out how funny it was that the band was drinking Budweiser while Bear Tooth was loaded with tasty craft beers).

Due to laziness, my aspirations are not being met on this post as I originally intended to write it up in a significantly longer form. But the heart of what I wanted to say is still there. If you like live music and energetic performances from tight rock bands, see The Hold Steady if they are near you. This is a band who is at the peak of the live rock world and I wholeheartedly recommend seeing them, if only to see their keyboardist Franz Nicolay, whose dance moves, dapper suits and amazing mustache needs to be seen to be believed.

Craig Finn rocking it

The one, the only, the Franz Nicolay


Guitar meet up - faces were melted

These people were insanely drunk and dancing like very entertaining idiots - loved them


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