Last night I made it out to Celebrate Brooklyn. The bandshell with seats may be my favorite free/$3 summer venue. A good, fun show with The Hold Steady, The Big Sleep and Teenage Prayers.
The Hold Steady were great, as they've been each time I've seen them. It was fun to see them in a bigger place and I'm consistently impressed with Craig Finn's contagious happiness. Even though some of the elements of the shows are almost identical, this band never really comes across as rote or going through the motions. Apparently they're opening for the Rolling Stones in Ireland next week, and they're happy, as they should be.
The Big Sleep were largely instrumental and pretty loud. There was some singing but mostly it was pleasant in a droney, sludgey kind of way. For a while, I thought they were really appropriate in a palate cleansing kind of way in between The Hold Steady and Teenage Prayers, but their set felt a little long by the time it was over.
Teenage Prayers tried really hard to do something interesting, I thought ... and in places it worked and in other places it didn't. I think my ratio of neat to annoying would have been a bit higher if I hadn't seen so many other pretty competent and fun enough but not amazing or especially memorable newer bands. Certainly, I'm sort of jaded. But they could be a band to watch in the future.
All photos from DFactor Flickr