Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

CONTEST – Rock And Roll Means Well @ The Phoenix – November 11, 2008

I imagine you’d have to flip a coin.

How else to decide who headlines a double-bill the likes of which are teaming up for the “Rock And Roll Means Well” tour cutting across the continent this November? The Drive-By Truckers or The Hold Steady? Both their latest albums – Brighter Than Creation’s Dark and Stay Positive, respectively – are solid though not career-defining moments. By virtue of their storytelling abilities? The Truckers weave a pretty rich Southern gothic narrative, but the Hold Steady’s tales of parties gone right and wrong resonate with most anyone who’s ever been young and stupid. How about their guitar prowess? Sure, Tad Kubler slings a pretty mean axe, but the Truckers sling in triplicate. Facial hair? Patterson Hood certainly works that beard, but there’s naught that can measure up to the mighty ‘stache of Franz Nicolai.

Well as it happens they’re not keeping score and are instead just alternating headline slots from one night to the next, and when the rock cavalcade rolls into the Phoenix on November 11, it’ll be the Truckers rocking things out well past curfew. And courtesy of Against The Grain, I’ve got two pairs of passes to give away to someone(s) ready to hoist a beer with one hand and throw up the three-finger devil salute with the other. To enter, leave a comment in the post (with your correct email spamproofed as necessary) and tell me who you think should close out the show and why. Contest closes at midnight, November 4 so you’ve got some time to think about it.

Tiger Weekly talks to the Truckers bassist Shona Tucker while The Clarion-Ledger, The Corrie Tandem and Charleston City Paper get some time with Hood.

MP3: Drive-By Truckers – “Zip City”
MySpace: Drive-By Truckers
MySpace: The Hold Steady

By : Frank Yang at 9:53 pm
Category: Contests

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RSS Feed for this post13 Responses.
  1. Scott says:

    Hold Steady… if for no other reason than I think THEIR stories would leave me feeling a little more "up" at the end of the night…

    Southern Gothic Narrative… not always so "happy" …

  2. MB77 says:

    A no brainer, this one. The Jim Carrollesque Hold Steady will join the DBT for their traditional encore show closer, a cover of Jim Carroll’s People Who Died.

  3. cmailman says:

    Seniority goes to the Truckers, my vote

  4. Ryan says:

    Hold Steady should be awarded the closing spot in honour of Tad Kubler’s battle against pancreatitis.

  5. da says:

    definitely DBT. with three encores

  6. Geoff says:

    “No doubt, Drive By Truckers mean well- but this night ought to belong to the Hold Steady. The seniority card, though significant, shouldn’t really play a factor considering that Craig + Tad go just as far back at DBT with their Lifter Puller days. The two real reasons why THS should close is b/c Stay Positive is the most recent release by either band and DBT have already been to Toronto since they dropped Brighter Than Creation’s Dark. Secondly, I totally slept on getting tickets and this sucker is now sold out, so I’m screwed! How’s that for an argument, please :)
    (geoffmorrison1 at”

  7. Paul says:

    The Hold Steady because they just can’t be followed.

  8. Josh says:

    This will be a great show either way, but you have presented me with quite the conundrum. It is almost unfair, like having to choose between two great loves. Peanut butter vs. chocolate, Betty or Veronica, the good and dark sides of the force… this one ranks right up there.

    Do you want to end your night with some great roots rock with a southern twang or the rock n’ roll anthems of youth and revelry? It begs the oft cited question: “why can’t we all just get along?”

    At the end of the day I could go either way, but I am comforted to know that the Hold Steady gets to set the table and have everyone primed and ready for DBT to bring it on home so to speak. As a few others have posted, if both bands are sharing the stage by the end of the night I expect that all will go home happy.


  9. Jason says:

    I would like to humbly suggest that The Hold Steady would be the best choice as closers, if only because of the tempo of the show; The Drive By Truckers are an act to be reckoned with, no doubt, but does one not want the speed of the show to pick up as it goes on? The fist- pumping anthems of THS don’t seem to fit at nine PM, to be followed by the dark, if somewhat languid rhythms of DBT; I would worry that people will just be too exhausted to enjoy the rest of the show properly. It seems the denoument will be longer than the climax here. The cathartic energy of THS will drain the folks, who may have nothing left for The Truckers, and that would be a shame. Thank you for allowing me to ramble.

  10. Roscoe says:

    the hold steady if for only the chance to chant “more double guitars!” at tad before the presumptive encore.

  11. Matt says:

    Who should close this double-bill is an interesting question. No doubt there can be no complainers of the choice. And I think the answer rest should look at the first choice, by looking at their story telling abilities and seeing how that would effect the audience: the people who the concert is for. To me, a good concert is about being there the whole time. If I stay at home for a beer or two I inevitably miss part of the good-time-entire: it’s important that a show start and start-loud. So who is louder in the delivery of their stories? Drive-By Truckers. With the Truckers opening I will be sonically and spiritually (beer, of course) attuned to the show. Which is to say, I will be prepared to chant along with the MC styles of Craig Finn. And since I have work the next day this participatory relationship with the Hold Steady will let me put down my beer and sober up (by sweating out) for work the next morning.

  12. Luke says:

    I vote for a hold steady closer, I want to leave the show feel energized and nostalgic.

  13. craig not finn says:

    I love them both, but I’m very happy DBT will be headlining the Toronto show. The main reason: epic fuckin’ guitars. Can’t think of any better sound to have still ringing in my ears as I stumble up Sherbourne towards the subway and home …