We arrived at Mercy Lounge Saturday night earlier than we usually do--this was our birthday party, too, kinda--only to find that the parking lot was already full of folks who are, uh, older and have more insurance. (Beatlesfestapalooza was going on at the Cannery Ballroom.) As a result, we wound up parking farther than we're used to and walking over plenty of broken glass on our way back to the club. The things we do for rock!
Luckily, we showed up in plenty of time to grab a slice of pizza and some cupcakes from the back room, and also in time to catch local hip-hop trio The Billy Goats, who win our Most Hilarious Slash Meta Rhyme Award for MC Iller's pairing of "how big my cock is" with "a room full of indie rock kids." In between, the Goats flowed and joked, threw up the horns and even got Chrystal (y'know, from all those You Tell Concerts videos) to sing along on their closing number. Iller, 24/7 and DJ Etticut took the stage to a room that maybe wasn't sure about this hip-hop stuff, and walked off to enthusiastic cheers, which were well-deserved.
If you don't have it in the budget to furnish your party guests with mountains of cocaine, having KinderCastle play is a good--albeit wholesome--alternative. Their music is fun, upbeat, smooth and will make you feel like you're at yacht club in the Hamptons. It's 1976 but somehow P. Diddy circa-now is there too. Unfortunately KinderCastle's joyous performance turned bittersweet when an onstage announcement came near the end of the set declaring this their final show ever. We were left in shock and awe.
The headlining set by The Features promised nothing more than a short batch of new songs, however, what followed the fresh rockin' jams was a fly by the seat-of-their-pants request set that included the newish single "Lions," "Exhibit A," an earth shaking "Walk You Home" and--by request of The Spin--a raucous "That's the Way it's Meant to be" among others. As always, Middle-Tennessee's most beloved band owned the stage and it was all sweat and smiles as the crowd doubled over each other singing along and dancing LYK THEY SEEN FUCKEN ALIENS. They were even raising the roof excitedly to the mid-tempo meditation "Baby's Hammer." There is something especially rapturous about the combination of Features and alcohol and the fun that follows. Great minds will likely spend years trying to find ways of synthesizing the sensation. Soon audiences nationwide will know the feeling as the band are gearing up for a steady stream of fall touring that will include arena dates in Mexico with Kings of Leon and a stop at Red Rocks.
As the set came to a close we hoped for more people to stay and dance the night away, but the crowd dispersed rather quickly and the Spin was left to twist and twirl by our lonesome like that really lame scene in Almost Famous. The parking lot was a scene of hot-to-trot youngsters exchanging phone numbers and people who were likely going to avoid West End on their way home. Here's to another year of late arrivals by the Spin, posts about the Darlins, threads about whether or not the Kings of Leon are legitimate sons of Nashville and people commenting under multiple aliases.