Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall - 15th December 2008

The Hold Steady

“Me and my friends are like the drums on "Lust for Life" we pound it out on floor toms, our psalms are sing-a-long songs.” A perfect introduction after lead-singer Craig Finn bounds on stage with his guitar and the cheekiest smile across his face.

The band head straight into ‘Constructive Summer’, a new track from their fourth studio album and the crowd instantly turns electric. Tonight the crowd is rearing for some fun songs that they can jump about to and sing-a-long with and the Brooklyn-based 5-piece does not fail to provide this tonight.

Arguably it is usually the lead singer who is the main focus of attention at a gig, but don’t be fooled remember to look out for Keyboard and Accordion player Franz Nicolay. As the band shift into their second song of the evening, ‘Hold Soft Light’, Franz Nicolay uses nifty leg-work whilst playing to impress the already over-excited crowd.

Although most people in the crowd become more fixated on Franz Nicolay’s crafty moves, Craig Finn provides some geeky yet impressive dance moves, as he appears excited when he sees the crowd bounding up and down.

But now it is time for their more popular songs; including possibly one of the best songs that they have produced, ‘Party Pit’. The crowd cheers with excitement when they realise what song it is and a mad pit of thirty-something’s appears in the middle of the crowd. After a second look into the pit of bodies it confirms that it isn’t just the usual rowdy bunch of teenagers who love a bit of a push at a gig.

It is quite unusual to go to a gig and there be such a mixture of people watching; young people, people over thirty and also people who had bought their kids to join in the fun. Tonight, they play a mixture of new and old songs including ‘Chips Ahoy!’, ‘Sequestered in Memphis’, ‘Lord I’m Discouraged’ and they end off a great night by playing the classic ‘Slapped Actress’.

Whether you are just getting into them, a massive fan, middle-aged, young or whatever you want to be these guys are exciting and fun. Yeah, you might not be their biggest fan but these could be the most fun band that you will ever see.

Listen: www.myspace.com/theholdsteady