Monday, December 19, 2011

Photos/Review: The Hold Steady / Titus Andronicus @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar

The Hold Steady / Titus Andronicus @ Brooklyn Night Bazaar - December 17, 2011
Photos: Nadia Chaudhury / Review: Chris

On the final night of the three-day Brooklyn Night Bazaar, Brooklyn indie heavyweights The Hold Steady concluded what turned out to be one of the better pop-up concert series of the year. The venue itself at 149 Kent Street, a massive warehouse in Williamsburg, is definitely a spot that should be a venue year-round—a sentiment I was not alone in having. Everything from the lights, the sound, the picnic tables, the trippy visuals displayed on the wall… I was truly shocked when I got there and the place was only sparsely occupied. Note to whoever owns the warehouse: turn this place into a venue and put Terminal 5 out of business already.

I missed opening acts Wakey!Wakey! and W/O, but got there just in time to get a spot up front for New Jersey’s Titus Andronicus, one of my favorite bands of recent times. As expected, the band got the crowd incredibly rowdy, playing a good deal of songs off of last year’s excellent The Monitor including “Richard II,” “A More Perfect Union” and ending with “No Future Part Three,” while also shuffling in what appeared to be a few new tracks.

For the last two songs, Deer Tick’s Ian O’Neil was brought out to play guitar and sing with the band, which reminded me of the time Titus Andronicus’ Patrick Stickles played guitar with Deer Tick last year (Ian is a former member of Titus). Weirdest part of the set? Watching a crowdsurfer fall over the barricade in front of the stage, who then proceeded to fight with a bouncer, before being completely pummeled and pinned to the ground by another bouncer. You can see a photo of it below, it was one of the more violent altercations I’ve seen between crowd and security.

All the rowdiness carried over to The Hold Steady’s set, who have quite a fair share of fans who know literally every word to every song. It was the first time I had seen them since Lollapalooza in ’07, but I can’t say much has changed. The Hold Steady are one of the most definitive live rock bands on the planet. I accentuate “rock” because they are everything a true rock band should be: loud, passionate, mosh-pit inducing and so extremely talented across the board.

The band’s setlist was something of a career retrospective, playing songs from all their albums including “Sequestered in Memphis,” “Chips Ahoy,” “Girls Like Status” and “Southtown Girls.” I think the mosh pit only settled down for one song (though I can’t remember which one), and for an encore Patrick from Titus came back out to sing “Stay Postive” with the band, which of course only further propelled the crowd’s insanity. In the end, The Hold Steady made it through 23 songs total and seemingly never broke a sweat. How Craig Finn does it is truly a mystery.

Photographer Nadia Chaudhury was at the show for us, and you can take a look at her shots of Titus and The Hold Steady below (the setlist is also down there). If you can make it into Craig Finn’s solo shows at Mercury Lounge on February 29th (the early show is still available but the late show is sold out), I highly suggest you do so…

Titus Andronicus

The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady – Brooklyn Night Bazaar – December 17, 2011
Hurricane J
Sequestered in Memphis
Banging Camp
Chips Ahoy!
Rock Problems
You Gotta Dance
The Swish
You Can Make Him Like You
Your Little Hoodrat Friend
Girls Like Status
Stevie Nix
Constructive Summer
Hot Soft Light
Lord, I'm Discouraged
The Weekenders
Southtown Girls
Chicago Seemed Tired Last Night
Stuck Between Stations
How a Resurrection Really Feels

Christmas Must Be Tonight (Robbie Robertson cover)
Massive Nights
Stay Positive (with Patrick Stickles)


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