The Hold Steady
SUNDAY / TUNNEL STAGE / 8:30–9:15pm

If Bruce Springsteen were in his thirties, living in Brooklyn, and writing big—musically big and lyrically big—songs about drinking, drugs, lost love, memory, and redemption, he’d probably be fronting The Hold Steady. Frontman Craig Finn (whose voice bears more than just a passing resemblance to The Boss) is also the songwriter for the group, and they’ve become known for dense, literary lyrics and booming instrumentals. Owing a big debt to classic rock groups like The Replacements and Cheap Trick, songwriters like Bob Dylan, and a little Sex Pistols thrown into the mix, they still consider themselves just a humble indie band. The Hold Steady have steadily lived up to the title of “Best Band of the Year,” bestowed on them by Blender in 2006, by releasing five critically acclaimed albums, including 2010’s Heaven is Whenever, featuring new experimentation with twangy Memphis sounds in addition to their signature driving guitar riffs. Decidedly ensconced in adulthood, they’re the thinking person’s band, singing with the perspective that comes with age while still relishing in carefree, passionate rock that’s always optimistic and never jaded. ALLISON FORD