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The Suicide Commandos and The Hold Steady at The Turf Club

17 Jan

“Little Hoodrat Friend” The Suicide Commandos + The Hold Steady #Current10 from CakeIn15 on Vimeo.

“Anyway, I got a proclamation, so listen up,” Mayor Chris Coleman announced from stage at The Turf Club on Friday night. His proclamation, between confessions of his own rock n’ roll dreams, recovering bagpiper status and swipes about STP being cooler than Minneapolis (“If Betsy Hodges were here I’d be nicer about Minneapolis, but, what the hell.”) was that Friday, January 16th was The Current (“My personal favorite radio station.”) Day in the City of Saint Paul.

The crowd at the Turf, gathered for one of the events in The Current’s 10-day celebration of their 10th anniversary, were certainly happy to be there, proclamation or not. L’Assassins opened up the show with their amber-coated shit-kicking rockabilliy punk, but the crowd really got into the night when The Suicide Commandos took the stage. The full house of 20-somethings and folks who were 20-somethings when the Commandos started as band 40 years ago pogoed and jittered around as Dave Ahl, Steve Almaas and Chris Osgood made it look easy up on stage. Ahl’s crackling drums drove every everything forward as Almaas’ giddy energy reverberated through the room with his bouncing bass lines and Osgood stalked the stage, planting and delivering huge hooks.

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A young person looking to get in to music could learn a lot from them, and they pulled up a special guest who did – Craig Finn of The Hold Steady, joined by his bandmate Tad Kubler. Together, they all moved through a couple Commandos tunes, including the huge “Burn It Down,” and ended with a version of “Little Hoodrat Friend” that saw Finn deliver an extended monolog about his relationship with Osgood while the band vamped in the background. Watch it above, it’s worth the 10 minutes.

For the grand finale, Mayor Coleman came back out to join them on The Who’s “My Generation.” After the whistling and stamping pulled them back out stage, the guys through together a song that Finn tried to play with his first band 20 years ago but hadn’t played since then – The Clash’s “Should I Stay or Should I Go.” That would have been it for the night, but Almaas and Kubler giggled conspiratorially with Ahl, and then they launched into The Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop.” Both songs were rowdy, loose and cut short because hey, they hadn’t planned on doing them, but they were fun. You want them to think that you’re having a party, and we sure as hell were.

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