A Positive Rage

A Positive Rage

by The Hold SteadyThe Hold Steady

CD(Bonus DVD)

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A Positive Rage captures the Hold Steady in a sold-out Halloween performance at Chicago's Club Metro in support of their breakthrough Boys and Girls in America album. What matters most in a Hold Steady performance is the back-and-forth transference of energy between audience and performer. And while the audience participation is mixed down here in favor of showcasing the pure musicality and rock & roll power of the band, somehow the listener gets that the quality of this performance is due in large part to the packed-like-sardines crowd. Seven of the tracks on this 17-song set come from Boys and Girls in America, including a stellar "Stuck Between Stations" (it opens the set with Craig Finn doing his very best Bruce Springsteen), "Southtown Girls," "Massive Nights," "Chips Ahoy," "First Night," "You Can Make Him Like You," and "Citrus." Given the relative newness of these songs -- the album hadn't been released yet -- the energy is high, and the audience seems to know the words already! Separation Sunday is represented only by the band's classic "Your Little Hoodrat Friend," but the version here is heavier, wilder, and more lost than the studio one. Ragged but right versions of "Barfruit Blues," "The Swish," and "Killer Parties" are here from Almost Killed Me as well. And in a very early preview of the Stay Positive album there's "Lord I'm Discouraged." There are also performances of a couple of less-familiar tracks such as "Ask Her for Adderall" and "Girls Like Status," the B-side of the "Chips Ahoy" single. In all, this is representative of the Hold Steady at the peak of their transition from small club pop-punk band to full-fledged international indie rock touring outfit. There's plenty of joie de vivre, guitar, bass, drum, and even piano crunch, passion, spontaneity, and looseness here, but the set does lack much of the often witty -- and sometimes embarrassing -- stage banter that is a signature of HS shows. The set also comes with a DVD documenting the tour across North America and London, England with plenty of commentary by HS members, as well as fans talking about the impact of the music itself. It also contains excellent live footage with varying sound quality. As these things go, it's one of the better bonus DVDs, making the package a real plus to the catalog.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/07/2009
Label: Vagrant Records
UPC: 0601091053328
catalogNumber: 533
Rank: 91004

Album Credits

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