The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me

Drum KitOk, so that title is an album reference and no cause for alarm (mom and dad, I’m looking at you), but I was figuratively nearly slain by The Hold Steady last night.

Lee introduced me to this band a couple of years ago. I liked them right away as musicians who can be funny, witty and smart and also happen to ROCK. Then I saw them live, and let me tell you – I have never seen another live band that seemed to be having so much fun. They exude an extremely infectious form of enthusiasm on stage, and I was hooked.

We knew the next time they toured, we’d take a road trip to see them, whether it be Jacksonville, Athens or Atlanta. But we were shocked when they booked a club in SAVANNAH.

What? (Retrieving jaw from floor)

Savannah may be known for a lot of great things, but not our rock scene. So we snapped up tickets and hoped folks in our city would turn out to support a great band.

I’d never been to the venue they booked, but as we stood in line to get in I smelled that old familiar smell – musty, dank bar mixed with beer and cigarettes. Mmmmmm…smelled like college. For a moment I felt young, but then I thought about the earplugs in my pocket, the fact that I kept texting the babysitter for status updates, and how I was out past my bedtime, and then I felt old.

I was with Lee and Trent, and when we walked in the door we all looked at the stage and just stopped and stared. The club was tiny, I mean t-i-n-y, with a small “stage” that might have been elevated all of 6 inches. Trent said it best – this show was going to be like having The Hold Steady play in your house. Equally as intimate, except better because at the end, we wouldn’t have to clean up beer bottles and such.

I was pumped. I’m not usually obsessed with being in the front row at shows, but as I mentioned before, The Hold Steady is a fun band to watch. And with the stage so low to the ground, I needed to be close to have a chance at seeing anything. So we were front and center, so close I could’ve strummed Craig Finn’s guitar for him.

AnimatedFront RowAnd they were great. We sang, we yelled, we jumped up and down. I may have shrieked a time or two. From where I stood it was hard to tell for sure, but I think the club was pretty packed. But I had a pleasant bit of tunnel vision, and for all I knew there was only us and The Hold Steady at arms length. And as usual, they looked like they were having a blast. I know we sure were.

Today, I am hoarse, sore, tired, yet satisfied. Can we do that again? PLEASE?

Four Frames of The Hold Steady

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