Holding it down at Detroit Bar

COSTA MESA — The Brooklyn-based band The Hold Steady, which appeared recently on "The Late Show with David Letterman" and "The Colbert Report," will make a stop here Wednesday in their nationwide tour.

Between shows in Santa Cruz and Pomona, The Hold Steady will satiate their Orange County fans by performing at Detroit Bar, the indie venue.

Frontman Craig Finn is excited to play to a devoted crowd that hasn't seen them in a while. Although The Hold Steady tends to include Los Angeles and San Diego in their line-ups, it's been a few years since Orange County fans have glimpsed the vocally raw rock band.

"We played Detroit Bar in '07," Finn said. "I barely remember it. I think that's the only Orange County show we've done. We've mainly done L.A. and San Diego. We're taking it closer to other people."

For those that don't recognize the name, The Hold Steady has made seven years in the business look like a lifetime. Only after three years on the scene, they were named Blender magazine's 2006 band of the year and were the first rock band to land the cover of the Village Voice in 15 years.

Their tour, which will take them from New York to Hawaii, has featured some exciting stops. In April they played a set on Letterman and they sat down with Stephen Colbert in May.

"Colbert was the most fun," Finn said. "He doesn't always do music, so it felt pretty special that he asked to come on."

This tour comes at an important time for the band, during the launch of their fifth CD, "Heaven Is Whenever," which, the band has joked, is a hit or miss record for many bands. Hardly any bands reach five albums and when they do, it's not always a high point in their musical career.

However, Finn realized number five might put them in ranks with bands they'd like to emulate.

"I realized that most of the bands that mean the most to me had indeed made it through five and sometimes beyond: Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Thin Lizzy, REM, Creedence, etc.," Finn said in a statement. "Five records in seven years. Not bad."

Not bad is right.

In those seven years The Hold Steady has quickly developed a devoted following. Finn says many of the fans attending the shows follow them from venue to venue. He expects no less from his Southern California listeners.

"I've met people that have come to eight or nine in a row," he said.

In regards to Detroit Bar show, he assumes some people will attend the shows in Santa Cruz and Pomona before and after.

The venue will also mix things up a bit, being a substantially smaller venue than other shows in the tour, such as the Sasquatch Festival or Milwaukee's Summerfest.

"It's important for a band to keep fresh. Variety is the spice of life," Finn said. "It's kind of fun to go from bigger venues and then go down and try to figure out how to fit on the stage. In bigger shows the audience can be really far away from you."

If You Go

What: The Hold Steady

Where: Detroit Bar, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa.

When: 9 p.m. Wednesday

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