Good news for fans of loud, Springsteen-ian guitar rock and roll with intelligent, soul-grabbing, blue-collar, Lou Reed-ish spoken lyrics, majestic piano, and essential gritty rock that transcends easy classification. The Hold Steady is celebrating their Our Boys & Girls in America album, which turns 10 this year
From the band…
“we are very excited! We will be playing a limited number of live shows this fall to celebrate. Our old friend Franz Nicolay will be joining us. More info on the first few shows will be available Wednesday, May 18. Mark it on your calendar!
“One apology: The plan was that today was going to be the day releasing the precise info on everything. Unfortunately, some details with our co-conspirators changed and it required waiting two more weeks on the details.
“Also, we are finally reissuing Almost Killed Me and Separation Sunday on VINYL this fall on Frenchkiss Records.
“Stay Positive! It’s about to get incredible!”
The Hold Steady.
Love that they are getting together with former piano player Nicolay, who lent a certain gravitas to their music and is associated with their glory days….
Bruce Springsteen just wrapped up a month-long residency-of-sorts in Australia, touring from west to east, and finishing up in Brisbane on February 26 with what is being called one of his greatest shows ever: a nearly four-hour long set that swerved away from the setlist after the first song, and included a live, in-sequence take on entire 1973 album The Wild, The Innocent, and the E Street Shuffle.
But here’s the hidden secret: it was a few nights before, on February 23 at a place called the Hope Estate Winery, that Bruce blew the doors off “Human Touch”, a forgotten, 1990’s non-E Street song that, in the middle of a winery, captured his – and the band’s – skills, all in high gear. Start with what is at the end: a long, impassioned, rising, killer guitar solo. The song, in slow-burn early, builds slowly. Mid-song, check out how he waits. And waits. And waits some more for the right moment to kick it in after resting on drummer Max Weinberg’s 1-2-3-4 cymbal ride. Here’s the YouTube clip. How the hell does he create a rock and roll gospel-like firestorm at nearly every show? Don’t know, but the audience is blessed.
read more about the Australian shows
Terrific version from May 14, 2013.
On a night that began with Bruce Springsteen jumping in during John Fogerty’s set to sing “Rockin’ All Over the World”, and ended with Paul McCartney on stage doing Beatles rave-ups, the show was killed a bit early for Springsteen, as someone with access to the on/off switch shut down his show at Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park in London.
Bruce had pushed well past the three-hour mark during his show with the E Street Band, headlining the Saturday night schedule in front of about 80,000. Curfew was 10:30pm and he was more than 10 minutes past the cutoff.
Up to that point, reports on the web say Fogerty had returned to duet on “Promised Land” and Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello had joined for a trio of songs, supplying incendiary guitar solos. But the big surprise was when McCartney ran on to do “I Saw Her Standing There’ and a raucous “Twist and Shout”.
And here’s where it gets ugly.
After “Twist and Shout,”, as McCartney was leaving the stage, Bruce motioned the band back to their positions after a bow. They wanted to play one of the signature songs of the tour, the Clarence-remembrance “10th Avenue Freeze Out”. According to witnesses, Bruce tried to count off the song, but the PA had been shut down. Backstreets.com reported that “Bruce’s monitor engineer had to come on stage to advise that the PA had been cut off, though the stage monitors were on. Unwilling to just walk off without doing something else, Bruce sang a few lines of the folk standard ‘Goodnight Irene,’ audible only to those near the stage, before leaving.”
“Merry Christmas Baby” – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Overshadowed during the holiday season by his cover of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town”, Bruce and the E Street Band grab a hold of the song by supplying a nod to their Jersey shore R&B roots. What makes this work is Bruce infusing the song with some of the same stop and starts, and musical breakdowns that work so well in songs like “Spirit in the Night” and “Out in the Street”. It’s really a snapshot of how they would sound in the early 80’s – though a little less gloss than the “Born in the USA” album had – that’s because it was recorded in late 1980 during “The River” tour. Great Roy Bittan piano. I love this version of the song. Not the greatest Christmas song ever. But if you want one of the most inspired live pieces of Santa Rock, turn this one up.
The song has been covered by Otis Redding, B.B. King, Chuck Berry, Bonnie Riatt, Charles Brown and Hanson. The recorded version performed by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band was recorded live at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on December 28, 1980, and included on the Christmas album A Very Special Christmas, released in 1987.
Video from Late Night with Conan O’Brien from December , 2002.