When the alternative wrecking ball (composed mostly of grunge, flannel, and teen angst) came to level the palace of hair metal and dance-pop that the '80s had built, Soul Asylum were right there at the demolition site, their bleeding-heart lyrics and unkempt look defining a certain moment of '90s rock. Grave Dancers Union went triple platinum in 1992 on the strength of singles like "Black Gold" and "Runaway Train," and while whatever sharp edges were still left on the band's sound have been sanded down with time (they're not currently rewriting "Somebody to Shove"), the earnestness in Dave Pirner's voice hasn't flagged over the years. The band's calling card is still big choruses highlighting big issues, and the focus has earned them longtime followers who have been salivating over the chance to catch them in a setting like First Ave. It's a hometown show for fans, so whether you show up listening for old hits or new material, you'll be sure to get what you came for. With the Figgs.
Fri., Dec. 17, 8 p.m., 2010