"I assume we've all gathered here because of a mutual love of rock 'n' roll music," Craig Finn, singer for the Hold Steady, mused Friday night at Terminal 5 in New York. It was the second of two nights in Manhattan on the "Rock and Roll Means Well" tour, the Hold Steady's fall road trip with the Drive-By Truckers, and mutual love of rock 'n' roll was merely the beginning. There was also mutual admiration, some musical collaboration and a delirious capacity crowd full of pumping fists.
The Truckers played first, hitting the stage like a lit fuse and giving their tour mates plenty to live up to with a 15-song set focused on their latest, Brighter Than Creation's Dark. Older tunes like "Zip City" got the loudest response, but even slow-burning new songs like "The Opening Act" crackled with intensity.
The Hold Steady had the longer set time, which seemed fine by the hometown crowd as Finn waved his arms around, danced with frenetic energy and mouthed lyrics off-mic between verses. The Brooklyn band mixed songs from this year's Stay Positive with earlier favorites like "Massive Nights" and "Your Little Hoodrat Friend" and rarities such as "Arms & Hearts" and "Cheyenne Sunrise." They even threw in a few covers: AC/DC's "Ride On," a version of the Minutemen's "History Lesson Part II" and, with help from Truckers Patterson Hood on vocals and John Neff on guitar, a boisterous take on Blue Oyster Cult's "Burnin' For You."
Set List: Drive-By Truckers
"3 Dimes Down"
"Where the Devil Don't Stay"
"That Man I Shot"
"Checkout Time in Vegas"
"The Opening Act" "Ghost to Most"
"I'm Sorry Huston"
"The Righteous Path"
"Women Without Whiskey"
"Puttin' People on the Moon"
Set List: The Hold Steady
"You Gotta Dance (With Who You Came to the Dance With)"
"Multitude of Casualties"
"Sequestered in Memphis"
"One for the Cutters"
"Ask Her for Adderall"
"Arms & Hearts"
"Lord, I'm Discouraged"
"Your Little Hoodrat Friend"
"Most People Are DJs"
"How a Resurrection Really Feels"
"History Lesson Part II"
"Ride On" (with Patterson Hood)
"Burnin' For You" (with Patterson Hood and John Neff)
"Killer Parties" (with Patterson Hood)
• Album Review: The Hold Steady, Stay Positive
• Album Review: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation's Dark
• Q&A: The Hold Steady's Craig Finn on Loving Zeppelin, Meeting Springsteen