As Music City's premier cover band Guilty Pleasures have found for years now, nostalgia is a hot commodity in this town. The '90s edition of Nashville Cream's 8 off 8th decades series was by far the best attended and was perhaps the inspiration for singer-songwriter Dave Paulson (whose band The Privates performed one of the best sets that night) to form Nashville's only exclusively '90s tribute, My So-Called Band. If the packed house at their Satruday night Mercy Lounge performance is any indication, the idea was nothing short of genius.
The night crawled up from a humble start with a performance by Mary Nails. Sporting two boys, two girls and a lone keyboard supplying the beats and music, the quartet delivered a funky, rave-y mix of electroclash, R&B and new jack swing. It reminded us of maybe a tongue-out-of-cheek edition of Spring Hill Spider Party, with their intentions all the while never fully clear--with so many hipsters in tow, surely there were some ironic overtones, right? We couldn't tell, which sadly kept us from enjoying it as much as we could have.
The band kept it simple and obvious, careful not to slow momentum with any unrecognizable deep tracks. They kept it rockin', doing very faithful versions of rock-based songs, eschewing the decade's wealth of pop, R&B and hip-hop hits. And they also kept it short--while this audience could have easily been strung along well into the wee hours, their set lasted only around 40 minutes. Kick yourself if you missed it, as there was lots to be missed--not the least of which was an epic crowd surfing fail by Matt Friction. But then, not to worry: an outfit this high in demand surely won't fizzle out soon.