Minnesota native Craig Finn always struck me as a “thinking man’s rocker”. His songs whether they be with his group the Hold Steady or from one of his solo albums, are not meant for singing along. One has to pay attention to the lyrics to fully appreciate them. He is on tour opening for the Heartless Bastards but at last week’s stop at First Avenue many in the crowd were clearly there to see him.
After the first 3 songs he stated “This is the part of the show where I usually introduce myself. I don’t want to jump to conclusions, but I think it’s safe to assume we can skip that part.” He hinted at a special appearance for a Dillinger Four show on the 4th of July.
Finn’s set was a mix of his solo material with a couple of Hold Steady and Lifter Puller songs thrown in for good measure. Some of the songs he explained in his unique way with comments such as “This is the oldest song I have written that I still like”. He mentioned touring since 1995 and how bands back then always wrote songs about touring and started to suck as soon as they wrote them. Then we proceeded with a song about life on the road but challenged his fans to keep him from ever writing another song about that subject.
What left the deepest impression about his set on me was the audience. People appeared to be wrapped up in his lyrics and pay full attention. That is a rare gift amongst musicians and Craig has it in spades.
Maggie I’ve Been Searching For Our Son
Modesto Is Not That Sweet (Hold Steady)
Mission Viejo (Lifter Puller)
Certain Songs (Hold Steady)
Dennis and Billy