The Hold Steady and The So So Glos at Koko
Koko in Camden has the sort of tacky grandeur that’s perfect for hosting a night of unadulterated rock. Last night the packed-out venue was treated to a fantastic show from The So So Glos and The Hold Steady, two very different but undeniably talented outfits.
The So So Glos opened the show with the sort of song you might have listened to as an angsty 16-year-old. Clearly influenced by late 90s pop punk rock, they are tight and on pitch, and you can’t help but headbang along. Hailing from Brooklyn, this band have toured extensively around the world, and it shows: on stage they are comfortable and unassuming, lapping up the attention from the baying crowd. Frontman Alex Levine is energetic and unfailing in his dedication to the set. Lost Weekend has heavy riffs and a call to dance – the best of the lot. The set is a lot of fun, the venue almost packed even so early in the night, which is testament to the appeal of The So So Glos. Raucous, loud, scratchy rock that’s almost fresh off the American Pie soundtrack, they are ideal live listening in this venue, with a beer in hand.
When The Hold Steady emerge it’s to massive crowd support, the excitement in the air palpable. Craig Finn’s distinctive voice pleases from the off, as they launch into what is an absolutely brilliant set from beginning to end. Best described as indie rock with a story behind it, The Hold Steady are as original live as they are on record. Charisma abounds from the New York five-piece, delivering hit after favourite song to the fans: Chips Ahoy! is a definite highlight, the whole venue singing along. The Hold Steady are traditional rock ‘n’ roll crowd pleasers; with a sound that is entirely their own, and a set that doesn’t dip in intensity or inventiveness, they put on a show to remember, with an encore that goes on and on.
There’s something universally alluring about guys with guitars acting as if they’re still 19 (maybe that’s just the happy hour drinks talking), and this is the perfect nostalgic trip. If you get the chance, catch The Hold Steady and The So So Glos on tour for an indie rock fix – you won’t be disappointed.
For further information about The Hold Steady and future events visit here.
Watch the video for I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You here: