The Hold Steady in Concert

Hold Steady 300

hide captionThe Hold Steady, performing live at the 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C.

Joel Didriksen, kingpinphoto.com

With the release of last year's critical favorite Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steady solidified its place among the best straight-up rock 'n' roll groups in the U.S. With power chords on overdrive, classic riffs and literate storytelling, the quintet has been dubbed the thinking man's bar band. Hear The Hold Steady recorded live in concert, with an opening performance by Art Brut, from Washington, D.C.

The Hold Steady features the distinctively wry voice of frontman Craig Finn, along with Bobby Drake, Tad Kubler, Franz Nicolay and Galen Polivka. Though several members came out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area — Finn and Kubler first won fans in the Twin Cities band Lifter Puller — The Hold Steady is now based in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Art Brut opens the show by playing punk-inspired rock with a playful sense of humor. The group is part of what NME calls the "art-wave" scene in South London.

The group gets its name from French painter Jean Debuffet's definition of outsider art, which includes work by criminals and the insane. Art Brut's latest CD is titled It's a Bit Complicated.

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Boys and Girls in America

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It's a Bit Complicated

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