December 28, 2014

The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe

The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
I've never seen a setlist posted before a show before. In all honesty I don't know if I've ever checked before. According to this pre-show setlist posted to setlist.fm, The Hold Steady was going to play all of their 2008 release Stay Positive followed presumably by a bunch more tunes from across their catalogue. Sounded good to me. All in all, I was pretty excited to see one of the greatest rock bands around in the intimate confines of The Horseshoe Tavern. It was the last night of the band's four-night stand to celebrate the 67th birthday of The Horseshoe. And it was going to be, pardon me, a massive night.
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
When the band took to the stage, frontman and creative force Craig Finn informed us that the theme of the night was to be "whatever the fuck we want". So much for the posted setlist. Out the window. Everyone in attendance seemed to be perfectly fine with this approach to the set and we were off and running with the awesome "Ask Her For Adderall". This was going to be a fun ride.
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
Since The Hold Steady was here for four shows over four days to celebrate the birthday of a Canadian live music institution, they treated the audiences to a different Canadian cover each night. What were we going to hear on this final night? Well, the answer turned out to be all of the covers they'd previously played, plus a special new reveal. After a handful of Hold Steady classics, we go to hear their rendition of Japandroids' "Continuous Thunder". Awesome. A bunch of tunes later, we got the cover of Neil Young's "Don't Let It Bring You Down", which I always hear in my head as sung by Annie Lennox for the film American Beauty. The boys put yet another spin on the tune that was equally compelling. The encore kicked off with the new cover, which I think only us old guys were really acquainted with; Bryan Adams' 1983 Canadian classic "Cuts Like A Knife". They quickly followed that up with "Young Lions" by The Constantines. Great picks of recent and classic Canadian songs. Nice touch.
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
The show closed with "Killer Parties" and the audience being invited to invade the stage. What a way to end a four day residency celebrating the 67th birthday of an iconic Toronto venue. I know I was totally satisfied by this great show and I have a funny feeling so was everyone else who attended any of the four nights - or all of the four nights, as many of the super dedicated Hold Steady fans had done.
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures
Here are a bunch of highlights from the setlist. Since all the tunes are technically highlights, I guess the tunes below are the highlights' highlights.

They opened with the powerhouse "Ask Her For Adderall" from 2008's Stay Positive

"Sequestered in Memphis" from Stay Positive

"Rock Problems" from 2010's Heaven is Whenever

"Navy Sheets" from Stay Positive

One of my absolute top favourite Hold Steady songs, "Stuck Between Stations", from 2006's Boys And Girls In America

Another massive highlight in the form of "Chips Ahoy" from Boys And Girls In America

"Constructive Summer" from Stay Positive. How many "double whiskey, coke, no ice" do you think were ordered that night?

"Massive Nights". Indeed. This one originally appeared on Boys And Girls In America

Singalong "Southtown Girls" from Boys And Girls In America

"Your Little Hoodrat Friend" from 2005's Separation Sunday

"Stay Positive" from the album of the same name. The lyric "early 7 Seconds taught me some of life's most valuable lessons" always make me think of that guy back in high school gave me a tape of New Wind. Definitely a musically eye opening album.

And they closed with "Killer Parties" 2004's Almost Killed Me.

And didja notice that they didn't play anything from their most recent album Teeth Dreams?
The Hold Steady at The Horseshoe Tavern December 13, 2014 Photo by John at One In Ten Words oneintenwords.com toronto indie alternative music blog concert photography pictures

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