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The Hold Steady: A Positive Rage (CD/DVD Review)

The Hold Steady puts on a killer live show, so a live album is both a sensible and welcome addition to its catalog. This one captures the band near the end of its Boys and Girls in America tour, and is a fine, representative sample of Craig Finn’s wordy tales of debauchery and Tad Kubler’s crunching power chords.

The two previously unreleased studio tracks are good but not great; the real prize here is the accompanying 53-minute DVD documentary, which follows the band through its 2007 tour of England and the U.S. The concert sequences are fun, but even better is the backstage footage showing the band as it collectively arrives at that holy-shit realization they’re blowing up all over the world, and that they can quit their day jobs. It’s a remarkable snapshot of a band on the cusp of greatness, grabbing for the brass ring.