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At Thursday night’s 9: 30 Club show of fun.Steel Train, and The Postelles, I found a new band to like, as well as a new band to goof on. Turns out both shared a guitarist. I was happy to discover that Steel Train, the one I liked, is one of those “It’s the live show, stupid” bands. Full of powerful E-chords and anthemic fist pumping bravado, it was like a punk-pop E Street Band—-which is an easy comparison, since the band is from New Jersey, but an apt one. Frontman Jack Antonoff has a charm that makes a room of 1200 feel cozy.

Then Antonoff re-emerged with headliner fun. The band’s plinky plunky sound, paired with the floppy prep-school hair and wardrobe of lead singer Nate Ruess, was precious, probably too much so. Imagine Bay City Rollers for the new millennium, this time with an Ezra Koenig sweater instead of a kilt.

The best band of the night was the first: The Postelles, who at first may seem like a standard pop outfit. But their garage and soul-pop touches and criminally catchy rhythm section were saving graces.

See the rest of the photos from the sets here.