the Hold Steady @ the Mohawk during SXSW (Angelina M)
Hold Steady

I didn't catch the Hold Steady show at Irving Plaza in NYC last night (3/30), but I was at the one pictured above which took place Friday night, March 20th, at the Mohawk in Austin for SXSW. The packed show was in a relatively small venue. And as you can kind of see a piece of in the picture, everyone was having a good time during the energized performance. One review says...

"The Hold Steady: Renowned for its prowess in concert, Craig Finn and company are still touring behind last year's superb Stay Positive. Shortly after midnight, Finn strolled onto the tiny stage at the Mohawk, waved to the fans overhead and those in front, picked up his guitar and let fly. For the next 60 minutes and change, the Hold Steady affirmed its standing as one of America's greatest living rock bands, a no-fuss yet deeply poetic group that simply speaks from the heart." [Star-Telegram]

And speaking of small venues, the band, who has already co-headlined the very big Terminal 5 (with a band who has 5 shows coming up at the much, much smaller Mercury Lounge), will return to the medium-sized Bowery Ballroom on June 8th, and then play a 2nd NYC show at the same-sized Music Hall of Williamsburg two days later. Tickets ($20) for both shows will be on Am Ex presale Wednesday at noon, and then regular sale on Friday.

And about last night...

The Hold Steady has become an unstoppable rock machine, with a catalog deep enough for the band to peel off song after powerful song in concert without getting to them all.

That about sums up the Hold Steady's performance Monday night at the Fillmore NY at Irving Plaza, on the second night of an extensive spring/summer tour. Playing to a packed house, the band drew from all four of its albums, with a particular emphasis on last year's "Stay Positive" and the group's first record, 2004's "Almost Killed Me."

Whatever the song, singer Craig Finn did his moppet dance while he sang, waving his arms around and gesticulating wildly while Tad Kubler cranked out huge, joyous guitar riffs like they were some kind of gritty rock 'n' roll astringent, good for a soul-scouring deep-cleanse.

And they were: the crowd sang along throughout, clapping out a staccato rhythm on some songs and pumping their fists on others, all to Finn's evident delight. [listen, damnit]

The band's new live/documentary CD/DVD, A Positive Rage, is out April 7th. All tour dates below...

The Hold Steady - 2009 Tour Dates
Mar 31 - Valentine's Albany, NY
Apr 1 - Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY
Apr 2 - Calvin College Fine Arts Center Grand Rapids, MI
Apr 3 - Illini Courtyard Cafe Urbana, IL
Apr 4 - Jake's Nightclub Bloomington, IN
Apr 6 - Gargoyle St. Louis, MO
Apr 7 - The Picador Iowa City, IA
Apr 8 - Slowdown Omaha, NE
Apr 10 - Fox Theatre Boulder, CO
Apr 11 - The Urban Lounge Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 13 - Beauty Bar Las Vegas, NV
Apr 14 - Harrah's Tahoe South Shore Room Stateline, NV
Apr 15 - Harlow's Sacramento, CA
Apr 17 - Coachella Indio, CA
May 3 - Luxor Koln, DE
May 4 - Ahoy (supporting Counting Crows) Rotterdam, NL
May 5 - Liberation Festival Groningen, NL
May 7 - Odyssey Arena (supporting Counting Crows) Belfast, UK
May 8 - O2 Arena (supporting Counting Crows) Dublin, IE
May 10 - SECC (supporting Counting Crows) Glasgow, UK
May 11 - Manchester Evening News Arena (supporting Counting Crows) Manchester, UK
May 13 - NIA (supporting Counting Crows) Birmingham, UK
May 14 - Wembley Arena (supporting Counting Crows) London, UK
May 16 - Cardiff Arena (supporting Counting Crows) Cardiff, UK
May 18 - BIC (supporting Counting Crows) Bournemouth, UK
May 19 - Cockpit Leeds, UK
May 20 - Junction Cambridge, UK
May 22 - Pavillion Falmouth, UK
May 24 - Centre Brighton, UK
May 30 - Mountain Jam Hunter Mountain, NY
Jun 08 - Bowery Ballroom, NY, NY
Jun 10 - Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY
Jun 12 - Saratoga Performing Arts Center (supporting Dave Matthews Band) Saratoga Springs, NY
Jun 13 - Saratoga Performing Arts Center (supporting Dave Matthews Band) Saratoga Springs, NY
Jun 16 - Riverbend Music Center (supporting Dave Matthews Band) Cincinnati, OH
Jun 17 - Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (supporting Dave Matthews Band) St. Louis, MO
Jun 19 - Post-Gazette Pavilion (supporting Dave Matthews Band) Pittsburgh, PA
Jun 20 - Post-Gazette Pavilion (supporting Dave Matthews Band) Pittsburgh, PA
Jul 3 - Rothbury Festival Rothbury, MI