Last night, Katy and I headed down to the Phoenix after work to see The Hold Steady & the Drive By Truckers in a co-headlining show. I was introduced to The Hold Steady by my friend Joel Stewart, who I worked with on the Canadian Country Music Awards, and have totally loved them ever since. The singer has a way of kind of speak-singing, which some people don't really get, but I definitely love. What I didn't realize, going into the show, is that they've released a new cd, and that the cd I have (Boys and Girls in America) is no longer the current one. So they didn't really play that many songs that I know. I was really hoping to hear Chillout Tent. Freaking love that song. But alas, no dice.
Super awesome set though - they opened with Stuck Between Stations, which I totally love, and was the last song I listened to in my car before the show, so I had it in my head. And it was kinda funny, I'd never seen a picture of The Hold Steady before - the lead singer was completely NOT what I expected him to look like. He's this kinda nerdy looking guy, older than I expected... completely "normal" looking - not like a frontman that would turn heads if you saw him walking down the street. And I guess I was expecting this totally hot, alt-country looking dude (like half the people in the audience last night... holy crap, smokin' crowd!). So that was amusing.
Short break between sets (or at least, it seemed short, because we kept hopping outside, meeting new people, etc), and then the Drive By Truckers came on. I'd never actually heard these guys before, but I remember Errol mentioning them to me ages ago. They are freaking AWESOME. Very cool alt-country sound (which I am very much into right now). I'm not sure how these guys have been off my radar for so long, when they have the exact sound that I love right now.
We ended up leaving sort-of early (around 11:30ish) because we both had to work today, so we missed any encore that might have happened. I wonder what it would've been like, because I'm sure the two bands would've taken the stage together. (I looked up some past show reviews, and saw that they played Keep On Rockin' In The Free World together... that would've been cool to see!)
On a final note - I haven't been to a sold-out concert at a large-ish venue in a long time. And I totally remember why. It was a great show... but it was SO annoying being in a crowd that big. We were near the back, and no matter where we stood, it seemed like people would be constantly walking by, and bumping into us with their beers. Annoying. I didn't take any pictures, because there was no point. But either way, it was super fun, and I would definitely go see both of these bands again!