This was our third Hold Steady show. First one was the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2008, and second was in Indianapolis in 2014.

The Hold Steady has been my go-to since early college, and it has aged much better than other favorites from that time. I maintain that had I not been listening to their first 3 albums on continuous loop for the last 72 hours before finals, I would not have completed my microcontrollers class project and would have failed out of college. Same went the next semester with compilers class. Saved by Barfruit Blues and A Multitude of Casualties.

My only note was that I was looking forward to hearing “Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night”, and did not, maybe because it was their first of 3 nights in Chicago and they hadn’t been in Chicago last night. I did enjoy their cover of the opening band’s song “Fresh Pope.”

Raising toasts to Saint Joe Strummer
What the hell, I’ll tell my story again
The setlist

(I have published this far, far after the fact because I am a busy person, but this needed to be logged at the correct time for posterity.)

Some highlights from the show:

  • Some Deer Tick fans popped up in front of us at the beginning of their set, affectionately referred to as Tick Heads. I have never seen someone’s mind constantly exploding from that close for that amount of time. They clearly could not contain their enthusiasm, and were escorted away before the end of the set.
  • The Vogue does not know how to make a Tom Collins (maybe just the one bartender). We stuck with whiskey coke after that, considering the band:
    https://rd.io/i/QWRkrDdiEso/
  • Craig Finn almost looks out of place at first but makes it clear that he is having just as much fun as you are, which makes the whole show pretty refreshing. Read more about it here (about halfway in, just past the part about bookshelves).
  • Hold Steady fans are generally unthreatening. Lots of plaid button-ups and thick-rimmed glasses. There were some d-bagsΒ in the front that were watching ESPN on their phone, literally less than 10 feet from the mics. Disappointing, but they weren’t jumping around and throwing elbows and screaming, so whatever.