Kevin Bronson of the Los Angeles Times abhors exclamation points, modern country and any notion that New York City is the center of the cultural universe. He’s also older than any music blogger he knows.
Given that he was feeling under the weather the other night, he asked Times Correspondent Charlie Amter to attend The Hold Steady’s show at the El Rey Theatre in his stead. Amter reports:
Finn, looking not unlike a bearded, bespectacled and crazed street preacher on crystal meth, immediately commenced gesticulating wildly in time with the music. The crowd, probably 75% of them men, ate it up and sang along. With very little prodding, Finn had nearly the entire front section of the El Rey (the show was sold out and had been for weeks prior to their sole L.A. engagement) clapping in time with the music — hands over their head. One guy stage-dove.
Amter also notes that Finn drops literary references into his songs and that 30-something Ivy-educated citizens of LA like to drink. “I’d be willing to bet the bar receipts at the El Rey were higher than at any show so far this year,” he suggests.
[MP3 Offering: “Massive Nights” from Paste Sampler #31]