This year's annual Hold Steady semi-homecoming is doubly weird. For one thing, even with Craig Finn's literary brilliance, they're essentially a bar band writ large, with all the attendant beer-drinkingness and neon-sign-lit rock action power that implies—so the State Theatre seems a bit off, venue-wise, what with people all sitting and not carrying drinks around. At least the Hold Steady are significant enough to pack the place full, thanks to the dedicated following that's grown with each new album—which brings us to the other weird thing: They're not touring behind a new album. They drop one consistently good-to-great record every year without fail, so the dearth of new material (aside from guitarist Tad Kubler's no-promises hint on their website of "a new jam or two") might seem redundant to anyone who caught last year's Boys and Girls in America-based, Twins-pennant-clinching First Ave drunktacular. But without a specific record to tour behind, that increases the prospect of hearing a wide-ranging set of all the Hold Steady's material, and maybe the tribulations of Holly and Charlemagne will fit together in new ways. With Art Brut. All ages.
Thu., Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m., 2007