In 45 years, we hope we even remember what it means to rock, much less kick as much ass as The Remains did Thursday night. We showed up at The Cannery trying, best we could, to block out everything we knew about the band and listen with fresh ears. That was pretty hard, though, since we kept thinking to ourselves, "They opened for The Beatles. They opened for The Beatles. They opened for The Beatles." Other than that, we totally kept our cool. (To the band's credit, they never brought that up.)
Way deep down (which isn't actually that far), we were secretly afraid that this was going to turn out like some nightmarish version of those PBS specials where all the teen idols of the '50s come out and sing their hit(s) in really bad shirts, and the camera sweeps around the stage way too much. And to be honest, there was a moment or two (maybe three) where the vibe threatened to get all cruise ship on us. But that didn't last.
Dancing broke out sporadically. People pumped their fists. There was sweat involved. A friend of The Spin who is roughly one-third the Remain's median age, leaned in and said, "This is so fucking cool." Singer, Nashvillian and erstwhile Emmylou side man Barry Tashian reminded us that The Remains' "Why Do I Cry" was featured in Superbad, and soon thereafter his son, Daniel, joined the band onstage, holding and playing approximately seven various shakers, tambourines and maracas. Jonell Mosser and Greta Gaines then came up to percuss and sing back-up on the band's slick treatment of the old Willie Dixon joint, "Diddy Wah Diddy."
It may have taken a while to stoke the rock 'n' roll fires, but once they did, they damn near burned the place down. They followed their classic Nugget "Don't Look Back" (which absolutely killed), with a raved-up, mannish-boyish blues stomp-slash-psychedelic noise freak-out--complete with mic-stand slide guitar and wild drum fills--that blew us away. Yeah, they opened for The Beatles. Maybe it should have been the other way around.