The Urban Lounge is a little hipster bar in SLC. It's small and dark and smokey, and the perfect venue for a band like The Hold Steady, who played there last night.
The opening band was The Heartless Bastards, a indie-blues-garage band from Cincinnati, fronted by Erika Winnerstrom, whose voice was as sullen as Beth Orton and as gravelly and commanding as Patti Smith. Their songs had simple melodies that really stuck, and I was a little disappointed they only played for an hour.
The only drawback about shows at The Urban Lounge is that they start so late. The Heartless Bastards didn't take the stage until 10, so it was after 11 by the time The Hold Steady came out. It's not so bad on the weekends, but when you have to work the next day, it's draining. However, I was so into the show I didn't care at all. Craig Finn's voice is very distinct and on stage, he's very animated, which is odd considering how the music is so laid back. You can feel his pain when he sings, "I've had kisses that make Judas seem sincere," and you know he means it. The entire band had a great vibe, and I feel lucky to have gotten to see both bands in such a small venue.