We wouldn't believe it if it weren't there ourselves, but it happened: A '90s covers night came and went without "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Indeed, without any Nirvana. But there were three Weezer songs performed throughout the night! Two from Pinkerton! Clearly Nashville musicians have memories of the '90s that are in no way influenced by reminiscing about VH1.
Anyway, the night started off with Martians Go Home, a one-off Hum cover band that played "Green to Me," the minor hit "Stars" and "Iron Clad Lou," a.k.a. the song Filter ripped off for "Hey Man Nice Shot" or whatever it's called.
The aggressive good-time art rockers Mattoid were up next and managed to turn '90s prom theme "My Heart Will Go On" into a menacing jam about having sex in a car on a boat. They closed out their set with two fresh-off-the-Jock-Jams-cassette club hits, "It's a Fine Day" and "Rhythm Is a Dancer."
Next up, Ocelots answered a question we didn't even know we were asking: Will R&B and hip-hop be totally ignored during this, their most amazing decade? A thousand times no! TLC's "Waterfalls" somehow works perfectly as a rock song. Special attention must be paid to the dude who managed to bust out Left Eye's rap: He nailed it. A nearby stranger said that the guy was a kid in Kids, but we're pretty sure he's a liar.
Soon thereafter, The Spin's note-taking devolved into a series of hearts and a "THIS=AWESOME" when And the Relatives busted out the one Weezer song we were hoping for: "Say It Ain't So." An absolute dream of a cover. We joined in the rest of the crowd and un-self-consciously jammed out, air cymbals included.
The Carter Administration baffled a good percentage of the audience with renditions of Superchunk's "Precision Auto" and Sebadoh's "Rebound." Everyone who was already a record nerd in the '90s seemed pretty happy, though.
Shoot the Mountain's three-song set went from punchy to dramatic to operatic. "Song 2." "Tonight Tonight." "November Rain." Obviously, a string section was needed to pull of the last two tunes, and it worked like a dream. String sections should be mandatory. Faux-Corgan vocals should not.
The Privates' bassist Keith Lowen confided in The Spin that he wanted singer Dave Paulson to "get drunk and talk shit about the other bands." It didn't happen, but The Privates barely fucked up the songs they didn't rehearse, which included "Sex Type Thing" by Stone Temple Pilots, "Why Bother" by Weezer and "Possum Kingdom" by Toadies.
Shit Sandwich, the final act of the night, could be described as a full-on Monet: It looks good from a distance, but up close it's a big old mess. But that was the intent! They are named Shit Sandwich, guys. The one-off party band closed out the night with the alcoholic's anthem, "Tubthumping" and a heavy dose of feedback.
So that was the '90s. They've been over now for almost a decade. But the band T-shirts, boozy sing-alongs with friends at the bar, and that girl with blue hair all confirmed that, for this particular generation, they are probably not going to go away.