With Craig Finn, you can expect storytelling and making a connection to be focal points of the night. As the front man of The Hold Steady, Finn told tales of the misguided youth of America in love, dumb, drunk or on drugs. Some things never change and at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Finn was as passionate and engaging as ever.
Finn’s solo record, Clear Heart Full Eyes, was the backdrop for the night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. Much like his time in The Hold Steady, Finn continues to spin some great barroom yarns. Never as heavy as The Hold Steady, Finn’s solo record has plenty of rock and genuine emotion that has engendered such a cult following.
Read more of the review and photos from the night after the jump.
Beginning with “Apollo Bay,” Finn strutted, gesticulated and built up each song to create an impact that resonated long after the song ended. Introducing his backing band and the song “Some Guns,” Finn mentioned how he always wanted to be in a band that had a theme song. Hell, even Bad Company had a theme song, so why not Finn? That’s how the backing band became called, informally, Some Guns and now Finn is in a band with a theme song, fulfilling a lifelong dream.
Most importantly for Finn was the idea of making a connection. Music touches, inspires and can pull together. Personal stories that are spoken or sung can connect different individuals together, creating a sense of unity or harmony that goes beyond that initial creation. It’s easy to get caught up in the trappings of going out but at the end of the night it’s all about making a connection.
Finn’s storytelling can be funny, like introducing “Balcony” as a song where you’re with a date and are out of cigarettes and when you go to get them, you look up and see your date making out with some other guy on a balcony, or poignant, like when introducing “Terrified Eyes” but it always contains a human quality that’s sharp-witted.
As Finn settled down and the band cleared out for an acoustic interlude, it was a great chance to let Finn’s lyrics be the guiding force and something he couldn’t do in The Hold Steady. The band came back to close the night with “Not Much Left of Us” and a cover of “Save Me Jesus.”
At the end of the night, Finn made a connection with the fans at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. As Finn’s solo work proved, there are plenty of stories left to tell about and plenty of interesting characters that are bound to make some mistakes.
Craig Finn Music Hall of Williamsburg Photos
Craig Finn Music Hall of Williamsburg Setlist
When No One’s Watching
Sara, I’m SurroundedÂ
Dennis and Billy
Going to a Show
Dudes from St. Paul
New Friend JesusÂ
Not Much Left of Us
Save Me Jesus