Monday, June 04, 2007

The Hold Steady at the El Rey Theatre

The Hold Steady have made it to the big time by selling out the El Rey Theater. They have corporate sponsorship by Gibson Guitars as both Craig Finn (Vocals/Guitars) and Tad Kubler (Guitars) were playing Epiphone Blues Custom amplifiers that feature Tad in the ads. The Hold Steady should have been sponsored by Budweiser because it was flowing all night.

The Blitzen Trapper by the way of Portland, Oregon opened the night with their indie alternative country electro rock. They covered all of those previous genres in a ultra tight set that spanned roughly nine songs. Their instrumentation included a miniature Casio keyboard in combination with a Nord Electro keyboard and a Moog. I liked "Cool Number One" which is featured on their Myspace page.

Illinois were up next and rocked the crowd with a banjo! I haven't seen a banjo on stage in quite sometime and was intrigued by their alternative country indie rock vibe. They reminded me of a combination of Pavement and Wilco.Tad Kubler even came out for a guest spot on drums during one of their songs. Check out their album "What The Hell Do I Know?". Some of the songs they played included "Blue Hands", "Screen Door", "Old Saloon" and "Nose Bleed".

The Hold Steady Setlist for The El Rey Theatre(6/1/07)

The Hold Steady have the dubious distinction of being the first official concert review back in October 2006 when they rocked the Detroit Bar. It was good to see a packed house enjoy a large selection of songs off of "Boys And Girls In America". The ultra catchy sing along chorus of "Massive Nights" had a large portion of the front of the crowd singing along. Craig Finn was his usual hyperkinetic self all over the stage flailing around and emoting his lyrics. It took only a few songs until Tad Kubler busted out the Gibson double neck to channel the spirit of Jimmy Paige. Tad was crushing his Boss Equalizer pedal all night for some scorching lead solos. He also sprinkled some flanging effects via his Boss Hi-Band Flanger pedal which adds a duplicate note an octave higher for a nice trippy effect. Some other highlights included "Citrus", "Killer Parties", "Chips Ahoy!", and "Chillout Tent". Unfortunately, no stage invasion tonight during "Killer Parties" but Galen Polivka (Bass) did manage to open his wallet and toss out some money out to the crowd during the show. I would have gone to see them in San Diego but couldn't pass up Autolux at the Natural History Museum.

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