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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

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

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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