Aug 15–17, 8 pm 21+
Recommended by Brian Cook
The Hold Steady’s boozy, swaggering, late-’70s radio rock has always been a bit of a tough sell for the general public. But their charm stems from Craig Finn’s boisterous storytelling, which manages to address sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll in a capacity that is neither glamorous nor cautionary. Over the course of their last three albums, the Hold Steady have gussied up their sound with bigger choruses and stronger production, tapering Finn’s revelatory rambling into more traditional songwriting. This bodes well for the band’s accessibility, but it also diminishes the impact of their strongest asset. Still, for listeners reading along with the lyric sheet at home, songs like “We Can Get Together” are as poignant as anything Finn did in their early years, provided you can see past the glare of the high-gloss production.