My Top 1000 Songs #526: Chillout Tent
Probably not the most obvious go-to track for Hold Steady fans, but I guess I'm just a romantic at heart. 'Cuz this is such a sweet, heartwarming meet-cute love story.
Ok, fine, in true Hold Steady style, the track (off 2006's stellar Boys & Girls In America) is way too gritty and subversive for the next big romantic comedy. Our two young lovers meet after OD'ing at the all-day music festival, waking up in the care of paramedics, decompressing with saline drips and cigarettes and orange slices. But meet they do, stealing kisses among the comatose teens. Then they go their separate ways, and my poor little heart is totally crushed.
Frontman Craig Finn, while handling the narrative in his trademark sing-spoken deadpan, wisely gives the mic to a few friends--singer Elizabeth Elmore and Soul Asylum's Dave Pirner--to roleplay the over-indulging couple. "She seemed pretty cool, we kinda kicked it in the chillout tent. And I never saw that girl again."
Fan video from a video contest:Live in 2021--with Michael Imperioli (of Sopranos fame) on guest vocals!Live, 2018, different guests: