Friday, October 8, 2010

The Hold Steady @ Trocadero 10/5/10

(Source: Rough Trade)

The Hold Steady may be from Brooklyn, by way of Minneapolis, but in many ways they fit the hard-working "bar band who made it big" image that Philly-area people usually adore. Their sound has always been sort of a like a meeting at a bar between Thin Lizzy, Bruce Springsteen, and the Replacements.

I'd rate this show as one my tops of the year so far. I have always theorized this is perfect time in a band's career to see them live - when they have 3 to 5 good albums under their belts with lots of old crowd favorites, so they play a little longer and you leave hearing everything old that you want to hear + the new songs. The played a fairly long set (1:30-1:40), played almost everything I wanted to hear, and most importantly sounded great live. What more can you ask for? Other than maybe "Slapped Actress", "Massive Nights", or "Citrus", I can't think of anything else that would be missing from what I would call my perfect setlist.

Craig Finn doesn't fit the media image of someone who would be fronting a popular rock band, but looks are deceiving and he really puts on a great live show. There were lots of sing-along moments in the crowd, especially during "Southtown Girls", "The Weekenders", "Chips Ahoy!", and "Sequestered in Memphis." The lead guitar skills of Tad Kubler were on display throughout. Here is a clip of "Sequestered in Memphis" from the show.

And in one of the finest moments of the set during the first song of the encore, "Constructive Summer", there's a line that goes - "Raise a toast to Saint Joe Strummer /I think he might have been our only decent teacher." And during the "raise a toast" part everyone in the audience who was holding a beer raised it in unison. Here is a full clip of that song. "Joe Strummer" part happens at about 2:54 in.

The setlist covered all 5 albums pretty evenly and even included 2 rarities. 3 songs from Almost Killed Me, 5 from Separation Sunday, 5 from Boys and Girls in America, 4 from Stay Positive, and 5 from the latest Heaven Is Whenever, plus the 2 rarities.


1.Positive Jam
2.Stuck Between Stations
3.Hurricane J
4.Girls Like Status (bside of Chips Ahoy!)
5.The Swish
6.Rock Problems
7.You Can Make Him Like You
8.Stevie Nix
9.Multitude of Casualties
10.Hot Soft Light
11.You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came To The Dance With)(from soundtrack/compilation album).
12.The Smidge
13.Chips Ahoy!
14.We Can Get Together
16.Southtown Girls
17.The Weekenders
18.Sequestered in Memphis
19.Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night
20.Killer Parties


21. Constructive Summer
22. Your Little Hoodrat Friend
23. Stay Positive
24. How a Resurrection Really Feels

Superchunk /Jenny and Johnny/ Versus @ Trocadero 9/22/10

(Source: Merge Records)

I was looking forward to finally seeing Superchunk play live for the first time. I was late getting into them, but have been a fan of theirs for years now. They always had a nice mix of pop, punk, and alt/indie sensibilities in their music, but for whatever reason (partially by choice of remaining on Merge Records) never really were able to break through in a big way the way similar-sounding acts in the 1990's did.

This show didn't disappoint. They played great set and the new songs from Majesty Shredding sounded great live. The crowd was really into the new material, which is refreshing to see when a band has been around 20+ years. Here is a taste - "Iron On" from the show.

Jenny and Johnny opened and they played a good set as well, showcasing 9 of the 11 songs on their new album, along with the set closer "Next Messiah" from Jenny Lewis' last solo album, and another track I didn't know. I found out later it is called "Just One of the Guys", which I think is a cover from a band called The Blondes.

A reunited Versus opened the show and unfortunately I missed them. I've read mixed reviews of their performance on various blogs.

Here is a good review of the show.

Superchunk Setlist:

1.Kicked In
2.Iron On
3.My Gap Feels Weird
5.I Guess I Remembered It Wrong
6.On The Mouth
7.Fractures in Plaster
8.Water Wings
9.So Convinced
10.Crossed Wires
11.Digging For Something
12.Detroit Has a Skyline
13.Like a Fool
14.Hello Hawk
15.Hyper Enough
16.Everything At Once

17.Cast Iron
18.Slack Motherfucker
19.100,000 Fireflies

Encore 2:
20.Precision Auto

Jenny and Johnny Setlist:

1.Scissor Runner
3.My Pet Snakes
4.Just Like Zeus
5.Straight Edge of the Blade
8.Just One of the Guys
9.Big Wave
11.Next Messiah

Pavement @ The Mann Music Center - 9/17/10


I'm a bit late with this review, but the show was well-reviewed by others, so I'll just link to one of those.

I'll just say that Pavement played an unusually tight set and sounded good. The setlist leaned heavily on their first 2 albums, Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain. And they basically played everything from those albums you wanted to hear except "Summer Babe."

Anyway try here for more details.

And here is the full setlist:

2.Cut Your Hair
3.Kennel District
4.Heckler Spray
5.Elevate Me Later
7.Silence Kit
8.Starlings of the Slipstream
9.Box Elder
11.Fight This Generation
12.Shady Lane
14.Spit on a Stranger
16.Two States
17.In the Mouth a Desert
18.Conduit for Sale!
19.We Dance
20.Rattled By The Rush
21.Range Life

22.Date w/ IKEA
23.Trigger Cut
24.Stop Breathin'

Encore 2:
25.Gold Soundz