The Hold Steady's Craig Finn on How Toronto "Changed the Whole Way We Tour"

In the first episode of 'Matt's Chats,' Finn and basketball star Matt Bonner discuss longevity in both music and sports

Photo: Shane Parent

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Apr 30, 2024

The Hold Steady changed the way they tour after an excellent run of Toronto shows, says vocalist Craig Finn on the first episode of Matt's Chats — the new interview show hosted by former Toronto Raptors player (and current NBA analyst) Matt Bonner, presented by Exclaim!

In the show, Bonner and Finn discuss sports, their favourite things to do in Toronto (shout out to Sonic Boom!), and of course the Hold Steady.

"Back in 2014, the Horseshoe Tavern asked us to play four shows to celebrate their anniversary, and we did," Finn explains. "To be honest, we thought it was too many. And they said, 'No, no, no, come do it, come do it, it will be fine.' And so we did it. And what happened was, people came from all over. We were able to play different sets each night, and we found that a lot of people were going to more than one show."

He continues, "We used that as an idea to change the whole way we toured. Since 2016, we don't tour traditionally. We don't get in a bus and go out for 30 days. We go to a city we like and we play three of four shows. The roots of this part of our business are based in Toronto. And so we've always loved it there." They will repeat that formula this week with three nights in Toronto from May 2–4.

Elsewhere in the episode, Finn breaks down his favourite sports teams and acknowledges that changing team allegiance feels like "cheating." Bonner and Finn both discuss their longevity — Finn as a 52-year-old indie rock vet whose band has a catalogue of nine albums, and Bonner as a former NBA star who played into his late 30s with the San Antonio Spurs and was proud to be one of the oldest players in the league.

Watch the first episode of Matt's Chats below — and stay tuned for Bonner to speak with more musicians about sports, music and life.

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