SXSW Live Shot: The Hold Steady

Who gets kicked out of a rock show for, well, rocking out?

SXSW Live Shot: The Hold Steady
by John Leach

You get older. Not old, mind you – not yet, perhaps – but everyone’s a victim of the linear nature of time. And because you’re a fan of rock & roll, you’ve accumulated a large catalog of shows witnessed. You’ve seen it all and then some, right? What about some poor guy getting kicked out of a Hold Steady show for rocking too hard.

Some jumping, sure, some lifting of beer in the air – because who in their right fucking mind wouldn’t “raise a toast to St. Joe Strummer” – and even throwing up an open hand indicating the number five during “Chips Ahoy.” Beyond that, he posed no danger to you or anyone else around you, who were all doing the exact same thing.

It mightn’t be either/or in terms of whether to blame an over-zealous security guy at Cedar Street Courtyard or a band delivering to a crowd of repeat attenders. Probably a little of column A and a little of column B. Still, it’s baffling to get kicked out for, well, rocking at a rock show.

Sure, Hold Steady fandom remains cultish. In the way that habitating on the north side of I-35 and having gainful employment and maybe shading pacifism is a cult. The main requirement might come down to having survived the Eighties one time already.

Whatever the case, the Hold Steady were awesome and that security guy takes his job way too seriously. That’s okay because none of the band’s remaining SXSW shows are at that venue.

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