Last Friday night presented a conundrum usually faced only by people in poorly written sitcoms: Do we go to the 5 Spot to see Black Rose, a Thin Lizzy cover band, or do we go to East side dive Dino’s? (Their Yelp profile is a dream come true. “Accepts Credit Cards: No. Good for Kids: No.”) Due in large part to not owning any togs that could be classified as weaponry, we opted to cab it over to The 5 Spot, and had a gay old time explaining the whole concept of Five Points to our trainee cabbie.
Due to a series of miscalculations, we arrived a bit too long before the show was to even start. Though The Spin takes no pride in the now-running-joke of constant lateness, it’s far less annoying than showing up way too fucking early. Thank God for smart phones: Drinking alone is less embarrassing when you can play Scrabble.
First thing we learned: Gentlemen Divers is not the same band as Gentlemen Drivers. One is some sort of dance music group (probably French), and the other is a new Nashville band that reminded us musically of At the Drive-In but with far less annoying vocals.
You know what The Spin enjoys? Heartbeater. They seem to be popping up all over the place this summer, and every performance has been good. In the parlance of music journalists, standout songs are definitely the almost-but-not-quite surf rock “She’s a Pistol,” and the insanely catchy “Dark Horse Rising.” We can’t actually recall the last time we were so excited about something new (to us), but it was probably somewhere around 1982.
The Spin had spoken to one member of Black Rose earlier in the night, and he revealed they had played a show in Gallatin several days (or weeks?) prior. He also revealed that they only had six songs, and finagled their way into lotsa free liquor by promising the people of Gallatin More Rock Songs, then proceeded to play the exact same set over again. But that’s the genius of covering good songs: Everyone in the room has heard “The Boys Are Back in Town” a minimum of 10,000 times, but that doesn’t mean the 10,001st time will be any less awesome.
Singing bassist Justin Taylor did a pretty faithful Phil Lynott, but with a much handsomer face and less dated hair, and the whole band participated in ‘70s-era rock flourishes like kickin’ around and activating Star Power™ mode. They did “Jailbreak,” of course, though we think we slightly prefer The Protomen’s more bombastic version, “Don’t Believe a Word,” “Bad Reputation,” “Waiting for an Alibi” (this could be a false memory, as we feel pretty certain we owned an NES game whose music kind of ripped off the riffs to “Waiting for an Alibi.” Was it Ghoul School?), and of course, “The Boys Are Back in Town.” The whole shebang was over by midnight, though we would have happily listened to the short set all over again. But hey, this wasn't Gallatin, and the band did not seem all that drunk.