The Hold Steady, Wintersleep at The Vogue: Classic Rock with a Modern Friend

Sometimes you just want some good, old fashioned, straight forward, shoot from the hip rock and roll. Yeah, Indianapolis bands that forge into new territory like Beta Male, Burnt Ones, or Jookabox can certainly be entertaining to watch and utterly engrossing to listen to, what with their fuzzed out sonics, psychedelic production, and forays into the digital, the electronic, and the synthesized. But classic rock is classic for a reason: it’s had decades and decades to refine and reinvent itself, and it’s been ingrained in the heart of every music loving Indianapolis resident thanks to Indianapolis radio stations and nostalgic fathers. Not only that, it’s just plain fun to listen to and watch, a genre that’s as full of energy as it is toe tapping riffs. On Thursday, September 30, Indianapolis music lovers can re-imagine those glory days of rock right here in the 21st century when The Hold Steady and Wintersleep come to The Vogue.

Music video for “The Swish” by The Hold Steady; The Hold Steady will be performing in Indianapolis with Wintersleep September 30


The Hold Steady and Wintersleep probably aren’t the first bands you think of when you think “classic rock.” But in an age where Nirvana is routinely played on classic rock radio, the genre can certainly be bent. The Hold Steady culls the best parts of Springsteen, Young, and Clapton, mixes them with sophisticated lyrics and songwriting, and spits it all out as a distorted, infectious medley of Americana guitar rock. The Brooklyn based band officially began in 2003, and since then, they’ve released four albums: their 2004 debut, Almost Killed Me, Separation Sunday, Boys and Girls in America, Stay Positive, and, their latest, Heaven is Whenever. Their first two albums garnered the band plenty of media attention: Almost Killed Me ranked #31 in the Pazz and Jop critic’s poll, and the band has been on the cover of The Village Voice and Blender. Stay Positive took The Hold Steady in a new direction, incorporating more instrumentation (talk box, harpsichord) along with new members. Heaven is Whenever, The Hold Steady’s 2010 release, sold 23,000 copies its first night, eventually peaking at number 26 on the Billboard 200.

Video of The Hold Steady performing “Slapped Actress” live; The Hold Steady will be playing in Indianapolis with Wintersleep September 30


While The Hold Steady has adopted a fairly straightforward approach to rock and roll, Wintersleep have taken a bit more fractured path that has led through the discography of Radiohead, Doves, and even The Wrens. With each release, Wintersleep has modified their sound. Their first two albums, Wintersleep and untitled, didn’t pull too many surprises, but the records showcased a band with talent and rock steady songwriting chops. For their third album, 2007’s Welcome to the Night Sky, the band brought in producer Tony Moogan, who has also worked with Belle & Sebastian and Mogwai. The investment paid off: Welcome to the Night Sky, with its layered drums, catchy bass lines, and sophisticated song structures, earned the band a Juno Award (a prestigious Canadian music award) for New Group of the Year. 2009’s New Inheritors continued on the fractured bent of Welcome to the Night Sky, this time bringing in a more varied sound palette for the band to work with. Wintersleep’s emotive, rich compositions will be an interesting contrast to The Hold Steady’s classic rock energy.

Music video for “Weighty Ghost” by Wintersleep; Wintersleep will be playing in Indianapolis with The Hold Steady September 30


The combination of The Hold Steady and Wintersleep at The Vogue on Thursday, September 30 should prove to be an excellent Indianapolis event. The Hold Steady is one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the 2000’s, and their live show is always an energetic, sweat soaked affair of legendary proportions: it’s one of the qualities that brought them international stardom in the first place. They’ll be touring in support of Heaven is Whenever, which, though it didn’t get the same overwhelmingly positive critical reception of their earlier albums, is a solid record with plenty of standout singles for The Hold Steady to take full advantage of when playing live. Wintersleep will be a perfect compliment to The Hold Steady; where The Hold Steady’s nod to the golden days of guitar rock ends, Wintersleep’s thoroughly modern approach will take over.

Video of Wintersleep performing “Miasmal Smoke and the Yellow Bellied Freaks” live; Wintersleep will be playing in Indianapolis with The Hold Steady September 30


If you’re yearning for the Boss or dying for Thom Yorke to revisit The Bends, why not go see The Hold Steady and Wintersleep at The Vogue on Thursday, September 30? The Hold Steady is no stranger to the big stage–they’ve performed with Kings of Leon, Les Savy Fav, The Thermals, and the Dave Matthews Band–and they really know how to work their classic rock swagger. Wintersleep, though a bit lighter on the swagger and the stadium riffs, will bring plenty of energy and chops to the stage of the Indianapolis music venue. The two together promises to be a great night of entertainment for residents of the Indianapolis cultural district. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m.; tickets are $20 in advance and $22 at the door. Come on out to Broad Ripple Village on September 30 for The Hold Steady and Wintersleep to see what classic rock looks like in the 21st century.

The Hold Steady and Wintersleep at The Vogue
Thursday, September 30 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20 in advance, $22 at the door

The Vogue
6259 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

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