The Hold Steady with Constantines Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver Tuesday, Oct. 25, 8 p.m. $12; visit bigmarkstickets.com for tickets.
The Hold Steady tell stories that capture the rough and ragged lives of the imperfect. Their latest disc, Separation Sunday, is a blatant concept album about "characters" who experience a little more of the real world than they can safely handle. Frontman Craig Finn admits to being influenced by Springsteen, as well as Husker Du and modern hip-hop storytellers like Brother Ali and Atmosphere, all of which helps explain the group's classic rock sound and gritty, spoken-word-like honesty. Lyrics like "she got screwed up by religion / she got screwed by soccer players / she got high for the first time in the camps down by the banks of the Mississippi River / Lord to be seventeen forever" make them a voice for the generation.
-- Sara Gallagher