There was no letup on the second night of The Hold Steady’s four-night 'Massive Nights' run at Brooklyn Bowl. Night two was more than massive: it was electric, epic, over the top. The energy level soared from the first note to the last, the band and the crowd feeding off one another and recalling days when we were all a little younger, ready to party and go with the one who was going to get us the highest.

The Hold Steady mostly kept their set focused on the classics, proving that the music and the band have aged well and that they're having more fun than they have in years. Craig Finn displayed his typical exuberance: arms spread like a preacher, clapping, cavorting and throwing his hands up to his forehead as if he couldn’t believe what was happening. The lengthy set included cuts from across the board: “Sequestered in Memphis,” “Chips Ahoy,” “Hot Soft Light,” “Constructive Summer” and “First Night.” There was even a new song, “The Last Time I Talked to Her,” never before played live. Joining the band for a multi-song encore was Jeff Rosenstock, who had helped get the crowd primed with his own energetic opening set, and Laura Stevenson, whose vocals were pitch-perfect on “Chillout Tent.” “Stuck Between Stations” and “Killer Parties” closed things down, but the room was still buzzing.

Craig Finn likes to write songs with religious overtones and there was a communal experience to the show, one of the high points of a year with many great musical moments. There are still two massive nights to go. Who’s in?

The run continues tonight (11/30) and it's been revealed that tonight's opener is Bad Moves. It wraps up on Saturday (12/1) (opener TBA). Advance tickets for tonight and Saturday are sold out but there will be a limited amount available at doors.

Watch The Hold Steady play with Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson below, alongside the full setlist. Pictures of night two are in the gallery above.

Night two setlist
Positive Jam
Hostile, Mass.
Cattle and the Creeping Things
You Can Make Him Like You
Stevie Nix
Multitude of Casualties
Hot Fries
Party Pit
A Snake in the Shower
Barfruit Blues
First Night
Sequestered in Memphis
T-Shirt Tux
On With the Business
Last Time She Talked (live debut)
Constructive Summer
Hot Soft Light
Entitlement Crew
Chips Ahoy!
Crucifixion Cruise
How a Resurrection Really Feels

Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Chillout Tent (with Jeff Rosenstock and Laura Stevenson)
Stuck Between Stations
Killer Parties


review and photos by Lou Montesano

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