Tag Archives: Steel Train

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Steel Train Say Good-bye

January 7th, 2013

Steel Train – The Bowery Ballroom – January 5, 2013


It had been well over a year since Steel Train had played a show, so the buzz of anticipation was high heading into their show at The Bowery Ballroom on Saturday night. Add the fact that lead singer Jack Antonoff labeled these two weekend shows (they played the night before in New Jersey) as their last ones for good, and that buzz grew even higher. Some fans flew in from distant places, while others waited more than 10 hours in the cold to make sure they were the last ones pressed against the stage.

Farewell shows often border on an unbearable amount of self-congratulations and overwhelming nostalgia, without a lot of actual music. But Antonoff and his crew kept things focused. Right off the bat, Steel Train played one of their most successful songs, “Bullet,” followed by a few other fan favorites, like “Turnpike Ghost” and “Kill Monsters in the Rain,” before the first of the night’s two guests—Jack’s sister, designer Rachel Antonoff—came onstage to sing on “Dakota.” (Their father joined in on guitar at the end of the set on “Firecracker.”)

Since the farewell fanfare was at a minimum, the show’s more emotional moments stood taller and punctuated the beautiful night. The first of these instances occurred when the band huddled around Antonoff’s microphone for the nearly a cappella version of “Road Song,” written when they were still inching across the country on poorly booked tours. And another came as the encore began, when Steel Train simply let loose during “Black Eye” and “S.O.G. Burning in Hell,” jamming for their fans one last time. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

Contest

Grow a Pair: Win Free Tickets to See Steel Train on 1/5

January 2nd, 2013

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Back in November Jersey indie-rockers Steel Train made an announcement: “We don’t know what the future holds for Steel Train. We do know that there are no immediate plans to get things up and running again, so with that said, we want to give everyone a chance to come celebrate Steel Train once more.” That celebration is on Saturday at The Bowery Ballroom, and it happens to be sold out. But if you’d still like to go, you’ve got one more chance because The House List is giving away two tickets. And if you want ’em to be yours, try to Grow a Pair. Just fill out the form below, making sure to include your full name, e-mail address, which show you’re trying to win tickets to (Steel Train, 1/5) and a brief message explaining why the band means so much to you. Eddie Bruiser, who’s still working on his New Year’s resolutions, will notify the winner by Friday. Good luck.

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You Can’t Stop This Train

June 23rd, 2010

Steel Train – Mercury Lounge – June 22, 2010

Steel Train - Mercury Lounge - June 22, 2010
The early show can be a tough draw in Manhattan, proving a constant battle with post-work plans. During the opening set at Mercury Lounge last night it appeared that happy hours and dinner reservations had won this round. But when the lights faded and “Tomorrow” (from the musical Annie) came through the speakers, a typically large Mercury Lounge crowd materialized, spilling out into the bar as Steel Train took the stage.

The band kicked off a tour (which will conclude with a headlining gig at The Bowery Ballroom on Thursday, July 22nd) in support of their new self-titled album, out next week. They focused on showcasing their new material, some old fun and that beginning-of-a-tour energy and joy. Early on they worked in the Arcade Fire-esque “Bullet,” the first track off the upcoming disc, contrasting it with the jaunty “Firecracker” off their previous release, Trampoline.

Adorned in his typical white shirt and blue jeans and playing his red guitar, lead singer Jack Antonoff echoed Bruce Springsteen better than most New Jersey bands that actually try hard to do so. His voice, strong on its own, grew larger when each band member lent his own for those power-shout moments made popular by the E Street Band. By the end of the set, Steel Train’s big sound had Mercury Lounge bursting at its seams. And as fun as packed, intimate shows can be, this band will be a spectacle when they return in July to The Bowery Ballroom. —Sean O’Kane

Photos courtesy of Sean O’Kane | seanokanephoto.com

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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