Guided by Voices at Sasquatch, May 30 2011. Jade Dempsey photo

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In memorium: Guided by Voices

The Electrifying Conclusion – not. By Shawn Conner.

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The Hold Steady at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg

Hold Steady Winnipeg

The Hold Steady at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Sept. 24. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

Review and photos—The Hold Steady at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg Sept 24 2009

– text by eugene osudar/photos by Merrit Rawsthorne

the greatest night
of live music
Winnipeg
has
Ever
witnessed

?

The Hold Steady
at WECC

Two Hours Traffic
Spiral Beach
The Danks
at The Albert

We Were Lovers
Rah Rah
at The Lo Pub

The Duhks
at The Pyramid

every one
a
full/on
dance
the angels
wanna wear
your
red shoes
kinda
show

elvis costello
circa
1978
kinda
full/on
show

the kinda
show
Firehose
would groove you
through
Mike Watt booming
the bass
with his fingers
pop/ping
snap/ping
pluck-ing
strings

or any
Monotonix
gig

with Mike Herle
wearing a Pet Shop
Boys t-shirt
(that’s for you
Shawn Conner
a big kiss
Thank You)

the largest venue
holds
500?
The Pyramid.

the smallest,

The Lo
130?

and i’m just about to
Hold! Steady!

i’m excited.
i’m ready.

to dance.

to share
my rawest
passionate
emotions
on the dance floor
s
of the WECC
and The Albert.

there’s excitement
in the air
there’s
I Will Dare
Replacements
kinda raw
commitment

there’s “boy love”
Kevin says.
yeah, there is.

there are a whole lotta
me’s
mid-forties
guys
and some 50somethings
too

the youngsters
are surprised
to hear
i’m gonna dance

they don’t know me

obviously.

i was going to write something
about the opening band
Still Life Still
they came out swinging
hard and fast
pouring gobs
of sweat
and then they
stopped
in mid tempos
before regaining lost
emotions
in the last two songs

and i thought
if only
Novillero
was opening
oh my deities!
if only
Now that’s passion
and swinging
hard
Every Song
Every Note
it’s
The (high) Art of Carrying On
the full/on
commitment
to express yourself
in song
and performance
and
the dance
between
musicians and audience

i thought about a (Paint) Movement
The Coast
The Darcys
there’s a Movement
of music
in TO
Still Life Still
The Paint Movement
The Coast
The Darcys
interesting…
i liked what i hear
(d)

Now,

this is your moment,

Now,

to,

Hold!

Steady!

the set,

100 minutes

Dusty
Positive Jam
Stuck Between Stations
Navy Sheets
Chips Ahoy
Cattle
Goin On a Hike
Sequestered In Memphis
You Gotta Dance
Heaven Is
Multitude
DJs
Our Whole Lives
Massive Nights
Party Pit
Cheyenne Sunrise
Separate Vacations
Stevie Nix
Magazines
Resurrection
Constructive Summer
Little Hoodrat
Stay Positive
Slapped Actress

“Craig Finn
is hard to photograph,”
says Kevin
who was there
with a camera

put away
early on
so he could
enjoy
the show

Yeah
i can see that
i watched that
he’s always on the move
dancing
and
scooting
his feet
soft shoe
style
to the massive fun
sounds
the band unleashes

swirling playful
keys
(Franz Nicolay
under the fedora)
hard chopping
guitars,
gritty
sandpaper
licks
and honestly
i could dance
just to
Tad Kubler’s
lead playing.
i was right in front
of him
and really
what i heard
most
Thursday night
was his playing,

i certainly didn’t hear
much of the vocals!
i could barely hear
the between
song stories!

but that’s what i get
for being
in front of Tad
and his 16?
guitar pedals!

Tad’s playing
and demeanor
reminds
me of Dan Murphy
of Soul Asylum.
and that is highest
praise.

now,
i really don’t know
the songs of The Hold Steady,
when
Constructive Summer
Explodes
on my itunes
i get this Massive Love
Buzz
Bob Mould
and Husker Du
intensity of feelings

Husker Du,
Soul Asylum,
and more so
The Replacements
were the last bands
that I cared
so passionately
about that I would
know their
every song
(pretty much)
and know the lyrics
and sing along

i Love the way
Paul Westerberg
sees the world,
he’
s a poet.

so, i don’t know
The Hold Steady‘s
words
i just know
i Love the music
the blazing
out of control
fire
of
the tunes
and the sound
of Craig’s
nasally,growl
voice

and
the message
of
Stay Positive

i need that.

and,

their playing
makes me soar

the rhythm
section
Galen Polivka on bass
(always making faces
at a seriously focused
Tad!) and Bobby Drake
on drums,
play seamlessly
together

the foundation
is secure.

this is a band.
tight.
united.
having fun.
in every song.

there’s that Bruce Springsteen
love buzz
going on
with these guys, too.

Craig’s always beaming,
and, Franz too!

and that kind of joy
in playing and being playful
being silly
being
free to be
happy and childlike
boy,like
in a front man
is infectious.

it’s a glorious
feeling
being in that kind of positive
energy
space. band and audience
Positive and Loving.

serious is fine,
carrying the world
on your shoulders
like Bono,
but
give me joy.

give me the moment.

give me
Stay Positive
in every song.
in every moment
on stage.

i wrote
“things”
with every song
but
those
feelings and thoughts
and observations
are unimportant

it’s the Positive
of The Hold Steady

the band’s joy
(Craig, Franz, Galen)
Tad’s
soulfully soaring
playing

and the audience’s
singing
dancing
to every song

the love
is real
the energy
sincere

the show
passionate
playful

that is foremost
in mind and heart
when i feel
back
to Thursday night.

Stay Positive.

i like that.
i need that.
we need that.

The Hold Steady
September 24
WECC
souled-out
in
Winnipeg.

Hold Steady Winnipeg

Hold Steady Winnipeg

Tad Kubler with The Hold Steady at the West End Cultural Centre, Winnipeg, Sept. 24. Merrit Rawsthorne photo

About Eugene Osudar

“born, august 16, 1963. i’m 45, and yes, i’m getting too old for this. bring out the rocking chair. my first concert, november 1978, elvis costello and the attractions. i was 15. their blisteringly brilliant 65 minute set only served somebody to affirm my new direction in the musical parallel universes, new wave punk alternative, oh sanctity oh celebration (!Freedom!) college radio! i’m old, i’m used up and i’m free. i see 50something Full sets of music every month and dance most of them. and when i dance, i mean to say, I Dance and Celebrate, 2/3/4 hours a night. The Gaslight Anthem. The Boss. The Weber Brothers. The Wind Ups. i’ll dance with Los Campesinos. i’ll move to The Long Winters. The Replacements. Husker Du. The Pogues. oh elvis costello, oh Clash! i could go/go/go Gogol Bordello forever. L(eonard) Cohen. come, Dance With Me (Old 97s) wherever you may be, sincerely, eugene
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