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.
2.Stuck Between Stations
4.Girls Like Status (bside of Chips Ahoy!)
7.You Can Make Him Like You
9.Multitude of Casualties
10.Hot Soft Light
11.You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came To The Dance With)(from soundtrack/compilation album).
14.We Can Get Together
18.Sequestered in Memphis
19.Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night
21. Constructive Summer
22. Your Little Hoodrat Friend
23. Stay Positive
24. How a Resurrection Really Feels