Arts Desk

Photos: The Hold Steady @ U Street Music Hall (Night 1)

The Hold Steady normally sells out the 9:30 Club in a heartbeat, so to accommodate fans at the significantly smaller U Street Music Hall, the band was booked for two nights in a row.

Last night's sold-out show (the second sold-out one is tonight) was crammed with the testosterone-fueled rock (and audience) for which Hold Steady shows are known, requiring the bouncers to move the barricade back at least once.

The set list included three new songs—"Teeth Dreams," which was just OK, and the hooky "Records and Tapes" and "Wait Awhile"—from the band's sixth album, due out next summer. Lead singer Craig Finn attributed his hoarse voice to an epic show in Baltimore the previous night—one that reportedly included an onstage audience singalong of "Killer Parties" in old-school Hold Steady fashion. But the audience didn't seem to notice (or care) Finn's vocal handicap. "We can talk to someone on the computer, or on the phone," said Finn, "but a rock 'n'  roll show gets you in the same room with other people."

See photos from last night's Hold Steady show in the gallery.

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