4/13: The Hold Steady at Beachland

While it seems like every other indie-rock band worth a shit these days left Cleveland off their tour itinerary, the Hold Steady continually go out of their way to make us feel special. They kicked off the tour in support of their last album — 2008’s Stay Positive — in Cleveland. And now they’re road-testing a new record here three weeks before it comes out. Heaven Is Whenever will be released on May 4, but you can hear a bunch of new songs at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124) tonight. The first single, “Hurricane J,” features a typically wordy walk-around by frontman Craig Finn. It includes a monster chorus, the kind the band mostly stayed away from on the underwhelming Stay Positive. (Does this mean Heaven is a return to the street epics that made Separation Sunday and Boys and Girls in America two of the 2000s’ best albums? We’ll soon find out.) It’s also the band’s first record without sweet-’stached keyboardist Franz Nicolay, who left the group earlier this year. Hopefully, he didn’t take the songs’ Springsteenian sprawl with him. The show starts at 9 p.m. The Oranges Band opens. Tickets: $18 advance, $20 day of show. — Michael Gallucci

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