The Hold Steady at the Rex

The Rex Theatre on the Southside of Pittsburgh apparently used to serve as an actual theater. The only give-away to this storied past is the lit, carpeted walkways. This is a fantastic place for a concert, especially the Hold Steady.

Listening to live music can easily be compared to watching a live sporting event. Rarely (except on dumb commercials by TV companies) do you hear the claim that it’s better to sit at home and watch the game than go to see it–everyone knows what you’re missing.

The Hold Steady show is the same way. As I stand packed in, listening with friends I came with and a couple hundred other people I may never see again. There’s a pretty intense energy flowing through the room. Yet, we’re willing to stand abnormally close and even smile and laugh with each other (which certainly wouldn’t be acceptable if we passed each other on the street).
There’s very little more enjoyable in life than getting a glimpse into the life of someone who totally loves what they’re doing. The guys from the Hold Steady are a great example. From their constant smiles to their incessant thanking, they certainly looked like they might have been enjoying the concert even more than the exuberant audience.

During the final song, vocalist Craig Finn told the audience that “there’s so much joy in what we do” and started grabbing people by the hand, pulling them up on the stage. Finn just stood there smiling–surrounded by the twenty people he brought on stage–and mouthed “thank you.”

This is the kind of stuff that makes it more than worthwhile to go hear live music.


listen to the hold steady.
photo credit: Rex Sorgatz.


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