Friday, October 08, 2010

The Hold Steady @ Beacon Theater

The Hold Steady; Wintersleep
@ Beacon Theater
New York, NY - October 7, 2010

During "Little Hoodrat Friend", Craig remarked how it has now been ten years since he first moved to New York at the age of 29 to work in an office. Then he got tired of that and got into a rock n roll band. How nice. Pennypacker is facing down the barrel of the 30 gun these days and not only works in an office, he's entrenched in it. In fact, the Hold Steady had no idea that their debut at the Beacon (which incidentally was also Pennypacker's debut, a shande considering all the years) was also the send-off show for Pennypacker's trip to London (itself unprecedented). A vacation well earned from all the toiling and travails. And it's a job based in the fact that there are a lot of people out there, not working, not as lucky as a Craig Finn or an Elwood D. Heck, Pennypacker is so lucky - his girlfriend is packing his suitcase for him right now.

So yes there was a gig, sorry about that. The sound at the Beacon was a little off for the boys. They sounded like they were coming out of a treble-less radio. Like an old FM transistor. But they played well of course. Tad now shreds on just about any song. And in the great Hold Steady tradition of never giving up on the back catalog, "You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came With)" and "Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night" were home runs (meanwhile poor Craig's Twins were getting beaten by Pennypacker's Yankees).

It was also pointed to out Pennypacker that he blended right in with the crowd, a rare but increasingly common occurence. A bunch of stiffs - of all ages but generally around his - watching a bunch of guys living the dream. Uh oh - this may be adulthood. And this is our Springsteen.

Wintersleep fared much better with the Beacon acoustics but their music would have been more fitting with a headliner like David Gray or the Killers. Pennypacker nearly fell asleep. Not the boys' fault. Just after a hard day's work, and enthused by the very adult prospect of a cushioned seat, it was unavoidable.

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