The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady’s most recent record, 2010’s Heaven Is Whenever, was pretty much universally derided as the worst of the band’s career. But the criticism doesn’t really seem fair. Craig Finn’s lyrics are still sharp, his stories still compelling, and the band’s classic-rock arrangements still pack a punch: in short, it sounds exactly like how a Hold Steady record should sound. Perhaps the real problem isn’t that the Hold Steady has changed, but the musical landscape has, and old-fashioned rock music (whatever that means) simply isn’t as palpable anymore, something that Jack Endino alluded to in October’s edition of Reverb Monthly when he discussed the lack of true rock bands in Seattle. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the Hold Steady’s ability to rock a packed venue, which is exactly what should be expected at the Neptune Saturday night. With Grand Archives. ANDREW GOSPE

Sat., Oct. 22, 9 p.m., 2011

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