The Hold Steady at the Basilica Block Party on Saturday was absolutely amazing. An amazing setting, a crowd ready to pop, and a band that not only loves what they do, but a band that was positively determined to make sure everyone had a great time.
Andy and Joanna met Nicole and I there about 15 minutes before the show started. I was pretty excited, and I hoped that Joanna and Andy would be treated to an excellent performance. They were going out on a limb, spending $50 a ticket to see a band they didn't know much about. My reputation was on the line a bit, but I was confident.
What did I think of the show? Nicole demanded to take my picture two songs into the set. Click on this and see if you think I was having a good time: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=528161&l=362291cdf9&id=1418517246
Nicole was raving afterwards as well. If you aren't familiar with The Hold Steady, the set list they played would be an excellent introduction:
Hot Soft Light
Sequestered In Memphis
Don’t Let Me Explode
Multitude of Casualties
Lord, I’m Discouraged
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
How a Resurrection Really Feels
Stuck Between Stations
I was amazed at how close we were - I'm not the kind of guy who is willing to push up through a crowd, so I usually just watch from where ever I get to when I walk in. But we had a great view, and the weather could not have been better. I've seen crowds that were into shows before, but everyone I saw there was absolutely THRILLED to be where they were. Honestly, the encore was so great that I would pay another $50 to get a concert DVD if they put it on sale today.
To make an awesome night even better, as we walked back with all the other people leaving the concert, we walk past Eli's, and wouldn't you know it, an outside table for 4 was there waiting for us. I mean, there is NO WAY that happens right? Between Basilica, Green Day and the Twins, I estimate there were 9 billion people downtown on Saturday, and there's a table just sitting there waiting for us.
A special THANKS to Joanna and Andy for joining us - those guys took a risk, and I was happy to see them having a good time. Your Hold Steady compilation CDs will be burned and ready for you the next time I see you!