The Hold Steady love Brooklyn and in return Brooklyn gave the Hold Steady much love at their packed Prospect Park show. The crowd, which had been sitting quietly for all of opener The Big Sleep, erupted as Craig Finn and company stepped out onto Prospect Park’s expansive band shell (QRO venue review) stage on Thursday, August 9th, and started into, fittingly, the opening track off their latest record.
The tight knit band consists of front man Craig Finn, guitarist Tad Kubler, drummer Bobby Drake, Galen Polivka on bass and the enigmatic Franz Nicolay on accordion, keyboard and harmonica duty. The Hold Steady was formed in Brooklyn in early 2002, after Finn relocated from Minneapolis, MN where he had fronted Lifter Puller, and was described by Finn as “an appointment that we made so that we could all get together and drink which turned into something more.” Something more that is opening for the Rolling Stones in a few weeks, Finn announced gleefully midway through the set.
The band ran though material from all three records and the packed front row knew every song by heart, singing along to anthems like “Party Pit”, “Chips Ahoy”, “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”, “You Can Make Him Like You”, and “South Town Girls”. The band finished up the set after “South Town”, took a few shots of Jim Beam (from the bottle on the stage) and retired to the back. At this point the crowd, eager for an encore, again went wild and after a moment Finn reappeared wearing a Twins #14 Kent Hrbek Jersey that he explained had been given to him during a recent visit to the Twin Cities. The band proceeded to rip through four more songs, ending with the fantastic “Killer Parties”. Happy fans left with the last verse running through their minds, “If she says we partied then I’m pretty sure we partied / I really don’t remember / I remember we departed from our bodies…” Did the crowd ever.