Hey, Hold Steady: If Ybor City is tres speedy, why are you playing Orlando instead?
The Hold Steady's fascination with Ybor City is long established. Just last year, singer Craig Finn told tbt* the story of the band's fascination with Ybor, which is referenced in Hold Steady songs like Killer Parties, Slapped Actress and Most People are DJs.
The first time we played at The Masquerade a whole bunch of the Hold Steady fans went to it because they said, “You got to see the Hold Steady in Ybor City,'" Finn said. "And so it’s taken on a life of it’s own and now we’ve played there a couple times."
But this weekend, Ybor City gets the ultimate slap in the face. The Hold Steady is skipping Ybor on its current tour. Not only that, but this weekend, they're playing at the Social in Orlando. TWICE.
Hold Steady superfan Justin George can't believe it. So he has taken it upon himself to compose an open letter to Finn and the Hold Steady, pleading for an explanation of how they could leave their favorite city (aside from Minneapolis and Brooklyn) off their current tour itinerary:
I was there in 2006, when you played in a dark, dank side room of the former Masquerade. I went in skeptical, brought by a friend from Minneapolis, and left in awe along with the small turnout.
I was at the Orpheum months later when the crowd doubled. I saw you graciously grab a couple of drinks with the crowd before the show and then win everyone over with staccato verses and finger-points like a fervent preacher.
I was at sold-out Czar in 2008, when you famously invited everyone to the stage during the finale. And I was at the sold-out Ritz last July for your free show, where I chuckled watching Craig’s jowly, smiling face mouth messages to the crowd while Tad Kubler launched into cataclysmic riffs.
But now no Ybor?
What did we do? Bad Cuban sandwich last time? Panhandlers push you away?
Photo: Getty Images.