With its canon of songs about drinking and drugs, music fests and chillout tents, and redemption and rebirth, The Hold Steady approach the act of partying with an almost religious fervor. Not surprisingly, the band's concert at Slim's last week was no exception. In fact, the show followed the pattern poetically laid out in "Hot Soft Light," from the band's newest album, Boys and Girls in America:
"It started recreational
ended kinda medical
it came on hot and soft
and then it tightened up its tentacles."
Opening act Illinois kicked things off with an almost overwhelming air of joviality, doing everything a good opening band should do. They played a blistering set of brilliantly perky pop songs that made everyone pay attention as opposed to chit-chatting before the main event. Even more endearing was that Illinois seemed just as psyched to see the Hold Steady as I was. To read what happened next, read more