The Hold Steady are at their best on stage, late at night, in a dark rock club full of drunk dudes, and they tend to struggle with anything outside those parameters. They don't do great on late night TV, for instance, and they don't seem to have faired real well on this new series of performances Pitchfork's been running this week. At some point, the band played to an empty room at Union Pool—the energy is weird, the mix is weird, and far too much light is shed on the vocals, lead and backing alike. The whole thing is like waking up in the morning and realizing the person you went home with isn't quite as attractive as you'd thought the night before. Doesn't mean it was any less fun while it lasted, though.