The Hold Steady's latest record, Heaven Is Whenever, was a pile of blah (with the exception of "The Weekenders," which I like despite the fact that it's about as interesting a rock song as anything Kings of Leon have done). That being said, I've cherished everything singer Craig Finn has touched since his days in Minnesota rock band Lifter Puller. Heaven Is Whenever falls short—way short—and the absence of Franz Nicolay's brilliant keyboard riffs is just the beginning of its problems. Still, the Springsteen-loving rock band has something to offer live. Their old stuff will make you party and dance, and watching Finn spazz around like the grown-up version of that kid in the documentary Spellbound who thinks he's a robot is ridiculously entertaining. MEGAN SELING
128 NE Russell, Portland, OR 97212
Hours: Ballroom open for events only, Cafe open: Tues-Sat 5 pm-"late"