The Hold Steady @ NYU
For better or worse, the crowd of NYU students and hardcore fans who finagled their way in was the most rowdy of any Steady show I've seen. The moshing and stage diving makes me slightly proud of my Alma Mater, but for some it was a bit much. Not that it was aggressive, but it was constant and pretty intense. Not bad for a booze-free venue.
First of all, where have the Thermals been all my life? Best set by an opening band I'd never heard of in a long damn time. I guess it was kind of a double bill, since they have a following. For three people who look more like a study group than a rock band, they tear in up. I bought their latest CD and can't wait to listen to it, though I can't seem to find it this morning.
The Steady started with Positive Jam, and you immediately knew this crowd was going to toss you around a bit. The setlist was pretty standard, no major surprises. Craig made a crack about A-Rod finally hitting, which I guess is better than him referencing that they're in last place. Lots of people snuck through a side door and onto the stage to stagedive/crowdsurf. In the Killer Parties encore, Tad Kubler(guitar) surfed while playing. Then as, Craig prepared to follow, my friend Dan stole his moment and beat him to it. There was a little bit of second encore blue balls, as it took a minute for the lights to come on. We were out of smuggled Beam anyway. It's so hard to rank Hold Steady shows. It's more a feeling of another great night to put on the memory shelf.
Also, the whole show but especially the Thermals were insanely loud. I guess we're old, but there is rampant hearing loss among my crew today.