The Hold Steady Fort York, Toronto ON, July 6

The Hold Steady Fort York, Toronto ON, July 6
Photo: Atsuko Kobasigawa
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One of the weekend's hosts, hockey broadcaster Dave Hodge, walked on stage and joked that there had been a contest earlier in the day to select the world's biggest Hold Steady fan. A few people in the crowd looked genuinely worried that they had lost, but things cleared up when Hodge announced that the winner was none other than fellow TURF performer Frank Turner. Turner introduced the band and hopped off the stage to watch from the crowd as Craig Finn and the gang tore in to "Constructive Summer." Amidst old favourites like "Banging Camp," "The Swish" and "Chips Ahoy!," the Hold Steady delivered a handful of new tracks from an upcoming album that they apparently begin recording next week, including "Wait Awhile."

It's hard to look away from the captivating Finn when he's on stage, grinning goofily, marching back and forth up to the edge of the stage, while constantly pulling faces and mouthing additional lyrics. The forthcoming record will be the first with the band's current line-up, which were a solid backbone throughout the set, however, the much-missed work of former member Franz Nicolay was never more glaring than during the keyboard-free rendition of "Stuck Between Stations." Nevertheless, Finn had the crowd on his side the whole time.

Other standouts included "Girls Like Status" and "Your Little Hoodrat Friend," and after closing with "Southtown Girls," the crowd's chants of "one more song" were met with a rendition of "Stay Positive" that saw Turner join his favourite band on stage. There was an awkward moment when someone — who was presumably security — attempted to remove Turner from the stage, leaving him and Finn both half-laughing, half-confused, but it all worked out in the end. Closing out the West Stage, the band delivered a stellar set and proved that they've still got the good stuff the kids go for — even if the kids are grown up and wearing "The Hold Steady Almost Killed Me" shirts.

Check out our gallery of T.U.R.F. photos here.