The Hold Steady - The State Theatre - Nov. 1
Download: Art Brut - "My Little Brother"
The show started off smashingly with the extremely British Art Brut. Surprisingly entertaining and superbly funny, I was completely caught off guard by Art Brut's charm and unabashed sexual wit. Frontman Eddie Argos stumbled around stage with the swagger of a disenfranchised youth, screaming "Ready Art Brut!" in between songs followed with volleys of "This song is about liking girls, hating girls and then liking them again!" or "This is song is about how much I hate people who hate things!" and so on. The Art Bruters were equally as entertaining as they continued the trend of overgrown teenagers (I mean this in the most complimentary way) goofing around on stage with a strong sense of bratty youthful humor. Art Brut are a must-see if you missed them last night.
Download: The Hold Steady - "Positive Jam"
Download: The Hold Steady - "Southtown Girls"
The Hold Steady returned to their second-home like a pack of road-warrior veterans that missed Minneapolis almost as much as the city missed them. Everything Craig Finn said was met with roars and cheers, and even the one confusing thing Tad said was met with a loud, just as confused bout of laughter from the crowd. Finn's enthusiasm and excitement was utterly contagious as his frantic arm waving, preacher-esque gesturing, and silly fancy-feet dances complimented his near-constant ear-to-ear grin that stayed with him (and the crowd) throughout the set.
The Hold Steady broke out three new songs, the standout of which was "Lord, I'm Discouraged," which you can see below -- thanks Jon for the post. The set worked through most of "Boys and Girls In America," but the show was really taken up a notch when they came on to play "Positive Jam" for the first encore. They closed the show with "Southtown Girls," which featured a long breakdown that allowed Finn to simply talk to the crowd. This speech culminated with Finn yelling -- arms flailing and all -- "There is so much joy up here in what we do, and we thank you for being a part of it!" I'll admit that I got rather emotional.