Heaven Is Whenever
Bogged down early on with comparisons to Jersey’s favorite son, Bruce Springsteen, The Hold Steady seems to have finally embraced The Boss’ influence while cultivating their own distinct voice. Craig Finn pushes the previously narrow parameters of his voice to find a greater range, and while the songs are anything but happy, his lyrics aren’t as dark and cynical as they were when he was young and starving. The cheeky “Rock Problems” offers a nod to the late Jim Carroll and shows Finn’s willingness to both embrace — and laugh at — his newfound position as a rock star. The Hold Steady performs tonight at Buster’s Billiards & Backroom, 899 Manchester St., in Lexington with Wintersleep and Very Emergency. Showtime is 8 p.m., cost is $22. It’s an 18+ show.