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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Hold Steady returns to their Massachusetts stronghold to play Boston Calling

The+Hold+Steady
The Hold Steady

Boston Calling begins Sept. 5 and will feature huge acts like Nas and The Roots, Childish Gambino, Lorde, Neutral Milk Hotel playing on three different stages at City Hall Plaza and a short walk from the Haymarket Green Line T Stop.
This Boston Calling’s fourth festival, which, according to its website, aims to be “one big party.” At Boston Calling this past May, the number of attendees per day reached upwards of 19,000.
Tad Kubler is the guitarist and primary songwriter for The Hold Steady, a U.S. band scheduled to play. Music critics have labeled The Hold Steady as  “pub rock,” due to classic rock influences and lyrically-spun narratives inhabited by misfits, roughnecks, and night dwellers.
“Well, festivals are fun”, said Kubler, when asked about whether or not the band was excited to play. “[They are] are a great place to go and see friends you don’t see often because they are on tour, or roll through town when you are on tour.”
Concertgoers are recommended to bring sunglasses, water, and to wear comfortable shoes. Attendees will be able to buy food and drinks. With an ID, those who are 21+ will be able to purchase alcohol at the venue.
Kubler says that Boston has an exciting and energetic atmosphere because of the schools, which bring tons of young people together in one place, “all kind of trying to find their own way.”
The Hold Steady formed in Minneapolis, where Kubler grew up. However, the band has ties to Boston. “Boston has this sense of home. [It’s] one of my favorite cities to visit or to be in. We have a lot of friends and family there.”
Vocalist Craig Finn was born at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, but moved to Minneapolis when he was young. He returned to the area to attend Boston College. His influence shows throughout The Hold Steady’s discography, as this backstory occasionally bleeds into the lyrics as locations, characters, or the ubiquitous adverb, “wicked”.
“There is a lot of name checking in our songs,” Kubler laughs.
“For Boston,” a track off the Australian release of the 2006 album “Boys and Girls in America” walks the listener through a journey into the seedy Lansdowne Pub, down the streets of Brighton, and past Downtown Crossing, closing with the line “In Allston there are nights when you get pretty annoying.”
The band’s newest album, Teeth Dreams, was released on March 25, 2014, and is the first to include longtime touring guitarist, Steve Selridge. It’s a change that Kubler says enabled him to focus more on songwriting. The addition of Selridge is a good fit, he says, as the two are best friends.
“Musically it is different than what we have ever done before. It’s a very dynamic album.”
Kubler says that the best songs are written when musicians love what they are doing, and that talent is something that has to be tackled methodically, with a lot of hard work.
“Sometimes you pick up the guitar and nothing happens, and other days you pick it up and say, ‘woah, what was that?’ But if you don’t pick it up, nothing will come.”
Boston Calling begins at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5, running until 9:30 p.m. The festival begins again the next day, Saturday, Sept. 6, at 1:05 p.m., with music ending at 9:30 P.M. The schedule for the next day, Sunday, Sept. 7, is the same. For more information about Boston Calling, visit fall.bostoncalling.com.
The Hold Steady will be playing Saturday at 5:00 p.m. on the JetBlue stage.