HAIL, HAIL ROCK N’ ROLL: The Hold Steady at The Fillmore, last night.
1. Eddie Argos reminds me of a guy I once dated, whose nickname was Eddie the Fish Man. (He ran a fish store in the long-gone Manayunk Farmer’s Market. Of course.) And speaking of fish, there was definitely something “off” about the fish taco I ate before the show, which explains why this review wasn’t written directly after. Retch!
2. Argos’ hyper-articulate English frat boy thing usually gets all the attention — and not without reason, ’cause dude’s a party mammal, whether he’s onstage baring his beer belly or hip-deep in the crowd — but their songs really hang on the hip-shaking bass and drums.
3. The Hold Steady’s songs are like Springsteen for a world that frankly doesn’t always have the time for a 7-minute anthem: Don’t bore us, get to the chorus. Yesterday afternoon, Craig Finn talked to Jim McGuinn about playing “Rosalita” onstage with the Boss, and how he’d influenced the band’s sounds and songwriting. I’m not sure I can see The Hold Steady ever being an arena show band, but like Bruce, Finn’s voice has a way of invoking achy feelings and the epic of American youth.
4. Not sure whether this is attributable to The Summer That Wouldn’t Die making people all nutty, or just the utter dudeness of an Art Brut-The Hold Steady matchup, but the menfolk down in front were a clothes-grabbing mass of shouted lyrics, white-guy dancing and splashing beer. God love ’em.
5. If you’re a single gal reading this in any of the other cities on this tour, listen to Yr Mother: Slap on something cute and get thee to this show. Trust me, my girls, the odds will be in your favor. –AMY Z. QUINN
FORMED A BAND, WE FORMED A BAND: Art Brut at the Fillmore last night.
SECOND OPINION: Or, Top 10 Reasons You Should’ve Been There Last Night
By Michael Donovan
10. The show’s venue was changed from the Electric Factory at the last minute, allowing one to take the orange line to South St. and pick up a sandwich from Jim’s on the way.
9. Demander, the opening act, featured the best-sounding and best-looking female bass player/singer since Cassandra of Wayne’s World fame.
8. Price of admission: about 25% of the price of seeing the Smashing Pumpkins across town.
7. After blazing through “Modern Girl,” Art Brut’s Eddie Argos saw it fit to dive in to the crowd and dance the night away with unsuspecting fans. Best part: stage left roadie reels Eddie in by his mic cable like an oversized British fish.
6. All three bands were showing communion like it was the last show of their lives, from the engineered catchiness of Demander to the controlled insanity of Art Brut to the sheer joy of the Hold Steady. Rarely do all of the bands on a billing work so well with each other.
5. Craig Finn is simply cute as a button! Watch as the little sprite hops about the stage, smiling from ear to ear, splashing beer all over the place… how could you not want to hug the man?
4. Jasper Future’s face of determination while providing rhythm guitar for Art Brut- you can’t beat it.
3. The sheer chock-fulledness of the Hold Steady’s set — “Stuck Between Stations,” “Stevie Nix,” “Citrus,” “Your Little Hoodrat Friend,” and “Chips Ahoy,” to name a few. Every fan’s appetite was sated!
2. Eddie Argos telling Demander, The Hold Steady, Art Brut, the crowd, and anyone else listening that they were “top of the pops!” (and with utmost sincerity, and for almost five minutes)
1. Craig Finn’s proclamation to the crowd at the end of the show, who had recently jumped the barrier and swarmed the stage: “We’re ALL the Hold Steady!” And let’s be honest — few feelings compare to that of being welcomed into Craig’s family as he shakes his head and covers you in his sweat and saliva.
[Photos by JONATHAN VALANIA]