“I woke up this morning and I had this weird feeling,” Craig Finn told an unsuspecting audience on Monday night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, toward the end of the second of the Hold Steady’s two shows there. “I hadn’t really realized this until today, but our first show ever was on January 31st, 2003, eight years to this day. And it happened in the same room, when it was North Six. It was totally an accident, but it’s a beautiful coincidence.” And then they played “Positive Jam,” the Almost Killed Me mission statement and unofficial Hold Steady theme song. We missed it, sadly (though the show we saw on Sunday night was pretty great, too); luckily, the intrepid and tireless NYC Taper was there to bail us out.
Download his recording of the show here, or go over there to stream both “Positive Jam” and “Stevie Nix,” two of the all time great live Hold Steady warhorses. The anniversary bent led to a pretty cool setlist: rarities and older songs like “Ask Her For Adderall,” “The Swish,” and “Most People Are DJs,” with which they closed the set. Pair the recording with Sunday night’s equally galvanizing encore, which was mighty, even when the band inexplicably turned into Phish and goofily three-way-soloed for like forever during “Your Little Hoodrat Friend”: