Dinosaur in Trouble: proudly serving Twin Cities music geeks

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me!

If you’re from out of town, you might not be aware that Lifter Puller is actually the dominant religion in the Twin Cities. Seriously, Craig Finn & Co. have been worshipped here for over a decade. As a result, their fan base has only grown since they disbanded in 2000. People now muse over Lifter Puller with the affection and admiration that was previously only reserved for The Replacements.

So it’s not surprising that when The Hold Steady (Craig and Tad’s “new” band) emerge out of their hiding place in New York, things get a little crazy in the Twin Cities. On their way down to SXSW, The Hold Steady decided to grace us with two nights of sold-out shows at the Triple Rock. I was fortunate enough to attend the first show last night. Yeah! I don’t think I’ve had that much fun at the Triple Rock since Lifter Puller played on the venue’s opening night.

I made sure to arrive early so I could catch the diverse cast of openers. Che Arthur played first. As he sat on the stage by himself playing his acoustic guitar, I couldn’t help but think that his music would work so much better with a backing band. My theory was confirmed when I got home and listened to some of his recordings (he’s effectively backed by a fully electrified band).

Thunderbirds Are Now! really warmed things up. I had just woken up from a nap before I left for the show, and Thunderbirds knocked the remaining drowsiness out of me. Watching them recklessly dance around the stage just made me want to dance along. Their excessive energy put me in such a good mood that I was laughing throughout most of their set.

The Oranges Band rocked, as usual. They also hold a special place at the Triple Rock since they opened for Lifter Puller during the venue’s opening ceremonies. They played a lot of new material last night. I have a feeling that their new album is going to be significant.

And then the screaming and shoving began. The Hold Steady almost killed me! (Seriously, Craig Finn’s guitar nearly smacked me upside the head several times – it’s always violently swinging around his neck while he’s “singing.”) It was apparent that The Hold Steady were really enjoying themselves. But how could you not enjoy yourself when everybody in the audience is singing along and enthusiastically pumping their fists to the music? That’s the kind of rock show that I could experience over and over. If the show wasn’t already sold-out, I would definitely go see them again tonight (it promises to be just as good with openers like Visqueen, The Reputation, and The Oranges Band).

Actually, there are exactly nine shows that I want to go to tonight (for real – I just counted them). Man, the March/April concert schedule will be the death of me. I don’t know what to do about tonight. I’ll probably just end up lying low and hanging out with some old high school friends. That would be the wise thing to do. I really need to save my money – especially if I’m going to try to make it down to Austin next week for SXSW.


Anonymous Chris said...


7:11 PM

Blogger elissa said...

too bad you didn't get to go the show friday night...Visqueen rocks!!!

3:56 PM

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