Six Albums Later, The Hold Steady is Holding Strong
Recognized equally for their storytelling-style songs and
classic rock sound, The Hold Steady strummed their way into fans' hearts by introducing them to a few hard-living characters,
like Holly, a Catholic and addict; Charlemagne, a pimp; and Sapphire, a psychic. Lauded by critics, the boys of The Hold Steady
manage to speak to a wide array of listeners while maintaining creative independence and crafting radio-friendly tunes. Six
albums in, and this band is only getting better. This acclaimed band is hitting the road again, meaning plenty of music appreciators
will be holding out for The Hold Steady tickets.
The New-York-based band really knows how to get
around. They've played all over North America and Europe and aren't likely to stop anytime soon. The U.S. spring 2014 tour
includes stops in the Northeast, the South, and the Midwest, before heading across the pond to the UK. They'll make a couple
stops in Canada before closing out the tour.
The band does enjoy its share of pop culture, with Hurley,
a character from the popular TV show "Lost," name-dropping the group on episode four of the second season of the hit sci-fi
show. The Hold Steady got a bit more personally involved when it came to a different fantasy favorite program, "Game of Thrones."
They wrote "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" specifically for the show in 2013.
Though the group has seen
some turnover since it began in 2004, the members have all remained on good terms from start to finish. The original members
included vocalist and writer Craig Finn, bassist Galen Polivka, lead guitarist Tad Kubler, drummer Judd Counsell and keyboardist
Franz Nicolay. Counsell left in 2005 and Nicolay left in 2010. The current five-piece collection is made up of original players
Finn, Kubler and Polivka, along with newer additions, Steve Selvidge on guitar and Bobby Drake on drums.
The Hold Steady received immediate critical acclaim upon releasing their 2004 debut album "Almost Killed Me." The group
made the cover of "Village Voice" in 2005 -- the first rock band to do so in 15 years. The accolades continued raining down
upon the delighted band from there, including more raving reviews from the "Voice" on their second album and a top-10 placement
on Rolling Stone's Best Albums of 2006 list for their third album.
Fans are hard-pressed to find
an album The Hold Steady has created that isn't a hit, at least to critics. Their debut album, "Almost Killed Me," received
immediate rave reviews, followed by further appreciation for their second album, "Separation Sunday," released in 2005. They
continued their success with "Boys and Girls in America" in 2006 before taking a brief break for two years to focus on EPs.
"Stay Positive," their fourth studio album, came out in 2008, followed by "Heaven is Whenever" in 2010. Other than
the "Game of Thrones" track, the band took a hiatus until March 2014, when they released their latest work, "Teeth Dreams."
Some bands might have difficulty jostling five members around the stage, but The Hold Steady makes
room for movement. The pounding beats of the latest album mean Finn is spitting lyrics into the mic at a frantic pace, while
drummer Drake thrashes with barely controlled passion on his percussive barrels. The guitarists -- working either in concert
or in combat -- furiously strum through their parts. The result is a raucous show with biting vocals, thought-provoking metaphors
and spine-tingling riffs that are not easily forgotten.