About This Video
|Stuck Between Stations||Cattle and the Creeping Things||Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night|
|The Swish||Party Pit||You Can Make Him Like You|
|Chillout Tent||Citrus||Don't Let Me Explode|
|First Night||Southtown Girls||Multitude of Casualties|
Bandleader Craig Finn doesn't look like a rockstar, and his baritone vocals wouldn't get him past the opening rounds of American Idol. Finn's true strength lies in his storytelling, from its rhythmic delivery to its numerous literary allusions. He spins lovesick tales for the English major in all of us, and he does so with the confidence of a slam poet.
The Hold Steady's recent Boys and Girls in America is noticeably bigger, slicker, and more produced than any of its predecessors. Any such album runs the risk of alienating the band's original fanbase, but this acoustic show at Castle Clinton proves The Hold Steady is still the same group beneath all that fancy studio work. Like an unplugged version of the E Street Band, they pound their acoustic guitars and upright pianos with self-assured gusto. Horns chirp, accordions bellow, and Finn stands at the stage's lip, commanding the band and the audience like a ranting, bespectacled conductor. There's a reason The Hold Steady has been causing a stir in the music scene, and this is it.
- Andrew Leahey