Just got back from The Hold Steady at Music Hall...I'm still pretty fired up, and my ears are still ringing, so it will be a while before I get to sleep. They completely killed it, as usual. I forget the name of the second lead guitarist they recently brought in, but he is amazing. It really enhances the sound to have him there when Tad Kubler solos, because Craig Finn isn't much good for any guitar work when he's spazzing out dancing around the stage. They didn't have a keyboard player tonight though, don't know what the deal is. It was really noticeable on a few songs, like Stay Positive, Stuck Between Stations, and especially Sequestered in Memphis, which people didn't even recognize at first. Great show otherwise, though. The played The Swish, which was the first time I had seen that live, and completely made my night.
Funny random story - before the show, I was standing outside the place next door, which is called Public Assembly, and is a music venue as well. Guy walks out to smoke, kind of strangely dressed, wearing these garish Air Jordans, which is the first thing I noticed. He's sort of antsy, bouncing around, and I creeped him out for a few seconds by staring at him until I placed his face. Turns out to be Ben Lovett, the keyboard player from Mumford and Sons. I asked him if they were gigging here tonight, he said they were on "holiday", I made a crack about him trying to go incognito, and he told me me promotes or puts together a show that just started up at Public Assembly. He was in town to see how it was going. He was really excited about this girl Sarah Jarosz, a bluegrass musician from Austin, who is also playing some shows around this spring. More info on Lovett's shows here: http://www.brooklynvegan.com/tag/Ben+Lovett