The Hold Steady at The House of Blues – Boston

Review and photos by Eric Pennell

Show Photos: HERE

The Hold Steady (THS) played the House of Blues, Boston this Thursday night, on tour promoting their new album, Teeth Dreams.  Craig Finn and crew hit the stage to deafening applause and set the cadence for the rest of the evening by opening with A Positive Jam, the first song off their very first album, Almost Killed Me.

Forget about music sub-genres; alternative rock, indie rock, etc.  The Hold Steady are a Rock n Roll band.  The heavy guitars of Tad Kubler and Steve Selvidge drenched the crowd with sound, playing off each other’s power chords and leads.  The rhythm section, held down by Bobby Drake on drums and Galen Polivka on bass, were solid.

Now here is where The Hold Steady stand out from all those other rock bands:  Craig Finn’s signature narrative-style vocals.  Stories of sex, drugs, parties, girls long lost and of course, Rock n Roll, are delivered like excerpts from a novel.  Craig engages the crowd, pointing and gesturing (sometimes to some particular  individual in the crowd) before pulling back from the mic, throwing his hands in the air and yelling something at some other person in the crowd.  He is not singing at you, he’s carrying on a heartfelt conversation with every person in that crowd, and they all know it.  Song after song, the crowd sang along and pumped their fists these epic anthems.

Craig Finn did play his usual Telecaster on few songs but seemed very content leaving more of the rhythm guitar work to Steve Selvidge, while embracing the roll of full time lead singer.  He is all over the stage, jumping back and forth and pointing to the crowd, ensuring he has our attention.

The show ended with a fantastic performance of Stay Positive and prior to the band’s departure, Craig added,  “Stay positive Boston.  Thanks being a part of this!”

Thank you THS and see you soon!



Positive Jam

I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You

Constructive Summer

Hot Soft Light

Wait Awhile

The Weekenders

Rock Problems


Lord, I’m Discouraged

You Can Make Him Like You

Chips Ahoy!

Stuck Between Stations

The Swish


The Ambassador

Southtown Girls

Hurricane J

How a Resurrection Really Feels


The Sweet Part of the City

The Only Thing

Your Little Hoodrat Friend

Sequestered in Memphis

Massive Nights

Stay Positive

6 Responses to "The Hold Steady at The House of Blues – Boston"

  1. Wow…they sounded just as good as their albums, and were so tight in clean in their play. Awesome, and I cannot WAIT to see them again!

  2. SO much fun! The Hold Steady puts on an amazing show Great Photos NECR!!!!

  3. They’re always amazing, especially from the front row. 🙂

  4. Frontman Craig Finn frequently smiles at the audience, His sense of gratitude and appreciation is so heartfelt what a show. Great Photos as always!

  5. From the opening cords of Hornets to the final sing-along of Stay Positive – the crowd, like Finn, doesn’t stop moving!

  6. The best bar band in America strikes again, although the lack of keyboards hurts their older material.

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