At the base of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Hold Steady worked a packed crowd into a frenzy in downtown New York at the Old Emigrant Savings Bank Building, built in 1908 and designated a city landmark after ceasing operations in 1965. From the richly decorated banking hall’s marble floors to its stained-glass skylights, the building was brought to life again for one rocking night.
After moving from Minneapolis in 2000, vocalist/guitarist Craig Finn resisted musical trends in New York City and formed the anthemic, classic rock-inspired band The Hold Steady. Described by Billboard as “Brooklyn’s working class heroes,” the group has since released four gritty, observational albums, each of which have gained wider critical and popular acclaim, culminating with 2008’s, Stay Positive (Vagrant Records), which earned them the designation by Maxim as “the best band in America.”
The Emigrant Industrial Savings Bank in Manhattan was built between 1909-1912 and was designed by Raymond F. Almirall in the Beaux-Arts style. The 17-story skyscraper was the first of its kind to use the “H” design, which provided light and air to additional parts of the building, making for a more pleasant environment for its employees. Organized in 1850 by Roman Catholic Archbishop John Hughes and the Irish Emigrant Society, the purpose of the bank was to protect the savings of Irish immigrants as they made the transition to the New York City. The current building is the third built by the bank on the same site, and has been in the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.