Hot Soft Light

I’m extremely happy after tonight’s Hold Steady show. I’m 50 years old, I’ve got arthritic knees and I was worried about going out to the show. But I had a massive night (and every song was right!)

Craig Finn may be the dorkiest band leader in the world, but he knows how to bring the noise . . . and no one in the audience had a better time than he did. He yells encouragement to the guys in the pit between snatches of lyrics, he dances like his shorts are on fire, he gets the entire audience clapping in time to a lyric, you can see him spit on some lyrics. I get the sense that if there wasn’t a Hold Steady, he’d be in the pit at some other cool band’s show.

A lot of songs from the new album (that is coming out on May 4th) so the audience was perhaps not as enthusiastic as I’ve heard they have been at other shows. But when long-time favorites like “Little Hoodrat Friend” and “Stuck Between Stations” cranked out, the entire pit seemed to bounce as one, fists pumped and everyone sang along. (Given the dense, wordy and intense lyrics that’s no mean feat.) As the man says, “the sing along songs will be our scriptures.”

The set list from the Hold Steady show tonight at The Westcott, courtesy of ontheradio, from The Unified Scene discussion board

same kooks
sequestered in memphis
soft in the center
constructive summer
hot soft light
navy sheets
bangin’ camp
the smidge
you can make him like you
rock problems
criminal finger
hurricane j
get together
your little hoodrat friend
stuck between stations
slight discomfort

stevie nix
southtown girls
stay positive

3 thoughts on “Hot Soft Light

  1. I’m late to the party (concert?) — but this sounds like a hell of a lot of fun. What do you think of the new album, now that it’s out? My fella, who introduced me to the HS and their raucus live recordings, finds it a bit too polished and polite for his taste. But he’s hoping upon hope that it will grow on him. I haven’t heard it enough myself to decide.


  2. Yeah, the new album isn’t as fist-pumpingly raucous as some of their prior stuff. I still like it a lot. The lyrics to “We Can Get Together” are amongst my favorite of this year:

    And heaven is the whole of the heart
    And paradise is by the dashboard light
    Utopia’s a band, they sang “Love Is The Answer”
    And I think they’re probably right

    Heaven is whenever we can get together
    Sit down on your floor and listen to your records

    Besides: “Soft In The Center” “The Smidge” “Rock Problems” and “The Weekenders” all rock!

    Check out all the photos from the Syracuse show at this fan’s site:


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