Hold Steady, Company of Thieves dominate at Otto’s Nightclub

By Jerene-Elise Nall

It’s always the quiet, unassuming ones that will blow your mind. If you don’t believe me, you must have skipped The Hold Steady show Friday night at Otto’s, 118 E. Lincoln Highway.

While they might look and act like average Joe’s, The Hold Steady proved themselves to be quite the opposite. As they took the stage, I remember thinking, “Wow, they’re shorter, older, and less attractive than I thought,” but their unimpressive appearance quickly became irrelevant as they started playing their set.

It was not just the drinks at Otto’s that had everyone bouncing off the walls, it was the set list, which included “Hurricane J,” “Heaven is Wherever,” “Chips Ahoy,” and “Sequestered in Memphis.” I was convinced the floor was going splinter underneath the weight of a few hundred 20-, 30-, and 40-somethings jumping up and down.

With a crowd as enthusiastic about the music as the band themselves, not one of us would have cared if the floor did cave in. I imagine The Hold Steady would have kept playing, and I imagine we would have kept loving it.

The Hold Steady closed out their set with “Stay Positive” and I cannot imagine a better way to end the evening. Friday night’s show put a huge smile back on my face after a very long week, and for that, a thousand thanks, the Hold Steady.

Company of Thieves was worth mentioning, as well. Although hundreds of times more pretentious than The Hold Steady, Company of Thieves played a good show. They’ve got a right to be at least a little conceited– they’re talented, charismatic and entertaining. While the band itself was decent, the female vocalist made this band stand out from most of the indie, wannabe avant-garde groups that have popped up in recent years. She’s got soul, no doubt.

I wonder what Kate Winslet thought of the show. I should have asked her–she was among the crowd Friday evening. Don’t believe me? Ask any one of the almost 600 people that came out for the show.

Hey, it doesn’t surprise me much– The Hold Steady is a band that anyone would kick themselves for missing, even Kate Winslet.