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Steel Train and the New Year

January 4th, 2010

Steel Train – Brooklyn Bowl – January 2, 2010

Steel Train - Brooklyn Bowl - January 2, 2009
With everyone’s New Year’s hangover dissipated, New Jersey’s own Steel Train helped Brooklyn Bowl kick off the new decade with an excellently offbeat show on Saturday night. After the opening band, the London Souls, quieted the din of the adjacent lanes with their supercharged funkadelic set, Steel Train brought a blend of youthful energy and classic rock to a packed crowd. The band is filling the gap that the Arcade Fire has left in the genre over the last year or so, and lead singer Jack Antonoff matched Win Butler’s moody pipes while adding a much more explosive stage presence. This mix harkened back to a major influence for both bands, Steel Train’s home-state-hero Bruce Springsteen. Fittingly, his “Dancing in the Dark” was the first of a handful of covers played during the set.

Coming off an all-request show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken, Steel Train continued to play other bands’ songs. Antonoff invited Nate Ruess (frontman of his other band, fun.) out for a spot-on version of Queen and David Bowie’s “Under Pressure.” But it was the sparkling performance of originals like “Firecracker” and “I Feel Weird,” both from 2007’s Trampoline, and a brilliant new song off their forthcoming album that set the rest of the show apart. Although, caught up in the fun of the unusual set list, Steel Train finished off their encore with one more cover—the Band’s “The Weight”—featuring each member playing a new instrument. Part cacophony and all smiles, they ended show the best way possible. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com