Check out more photos: Part 1, Part 2
Were songs all better in the '60s? Are covers always better than originals? Are the dudes from the Pink Spiders still friends? "Yes" to all three, according to audience members we spoke to at the Mercy Lounge's '60s-centered 8 off 8th. The Nashville Cream-helmed show brought together a large and diverse crowd that started strong and stayed until the very end, demonstrating the lasting appeal of the Animals, Rolling Stones and Zombies.
Local pop-rockers the Millionaire Magicians performed the Animals' "We Gotta Get Out of This Place" and The Buckinghams' "Kind of a Drag." They were followed by Jacob Jones, who drew some opprobrious remarks for covering a song that isn't even from the '60s: "Folsom Prison Blues."
"I have no idea what song this is," one concertgoer observed of Kindergarten Circus' opening number. We didn't either, so we can only assume it's a garage rock obscurity drawn from Psychedelic Gravel Vol. 153
, or some such thing. They followed it up with "Young Blood" (by the Coasters, 1957!), and Howlin' Wolf's "Hidden Charms." This focus on stripped-down rockers served the band well. They performed them with an aggressive, garage stomp, and Dillon Watson's sinister growl.
The Clutters followed, playing The Sonics' "Have Love, Will Travel," and Nuggets classic "Don't Look Back" (originally by The Remains). The audience was a tad perplexed by the band's keyboard, which was printed with the name Jack Lawrence. Even our journalistic inquiries couldn't determine the reason for this; when questioned, keyboardist Todd Kemp observed "I have no idea, that's just how it came from eBay."
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After a smoking-and-drinking-on-the-porch interval, most of the audience crowded back inside for Eureka Gold. Their set was one of the definite highlights of the show; it included the Rolling Stones' "Street Fighting Man," The Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run," and a rendition of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Crimson and Clover" that used backup singers to good effect, and built up to a furious wall of sound. By the time they closed with Roy Orbison's melodramatic "Runnin' Scared," we were singing along enthusiastically.
Between sets, we encountered the show's curator, D. Patrick Rodgers. Does he think it's pretentious to refer to organizing a rock show as "curating"? "Absolutely." When Roman Candle took the stage shortly before midnight, the crowd was still going strong; they played the Beatles' "Anna (Go With Him)" and Neil Young's "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere."
The last performer of the evening was Matt Friction of the Pink Spiders, playing with a non-Spiders bunch of dudes billing themselves as the Cheap Shots. They played an appropriately loud, bombastic version of the Animals' "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" and the Zombies' "She's Not There," as well as a rockified version of "Runaround Sue." Could anything make this evening better? "More fog," insisted club proprietor John Bruton. Sure enough, they closed with "Paint it Black" in a haze of smoke and colored lights.