Not to get all mushy and shit, but we're gonna get all mushy and shit. The Spin needs to send out our most heartfelt thanks to Jack White and the whole crew at Third Man Records for bringing The 18.104.22.168.s all the way from Japan. Yeah, you guys do great shows on the regular — no question about that — but Friday night's show was something else all together. See, when we were just li'l rock 'n' roll tadpoles, the “I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield” single was our first successful attempt at mail-ordering music through Maximum Rocknroll — who knew that sending envelopes full of cash to anonymous punk kids would work out as planned! That single was a major milestone at the very beginning of what's turned into a very long, very strange trip, and The 22.214.171.124's are a band that mean the world to us. Who knows, if that single had sucked, we might have ended up in accounting.
That said, we've always assumed there was a snowball's chance in hell that we would ever get to see them live, never mind see them live with a couple hundred or so other people at what amounts to the best house show venue ever. Seriously, y'all cats did us a super-duper solid. When the whole Kill Bill thing happened and “Woo Hoo” — from the ultra-classic Bomb the Twist EP, aka our hypothetical offspring's hypothetical college fund — turned into a song that other people had heard of, we thought we might get to see 'em. But then the Vonage thing happened, and we just kinda gave up. But YOU, you wonderful people at Third Man, you hooked it up. Again, thank you.
We were a little nervous about the crowd because, well, this is Nashville, and while we were waiting in line we heard a shit-ton of people talking about how they had never even heard of the band. We were kinda sketched out by the number of people in attendance just so they could stand in the same room as Mr. White. No offense, but it seems like a kinda vapid reason to go out to a rock show, especially when one of the coolest international bands of the last two decades is making an ultra-rare overseas appearance. But then again, we shouldn't have underestimated Jack's people — by the time band took the stage the room was packed and the excitement was palpable. Who gives a shit if the crowd didn't know who they were before? They sure do now!
The set started off a little shaky, and the band was obviously nervous. There was this bizarre noise coming from the guitar amp and a couple of off-the-rails moments early on. Some folks around us were put off by the sloppiness of it, but it's a goddamn garage band folks — lighten up a little bit, and we promise not to tell your friends at Guitar Center. While we hate to encourage gender stereotypes, it was definitely a night where the dudes stood slack-jawed and jealous of the gnarly guitar tone coming from the stage while the ladies went wild. And who can blame 'em — there ain't nothin' more badass than a bouffant, a satin dress and the sickest surf-pickin' on either side of the Pacific.
While we would have preferred, say, a six-hour set that included scores of super deep cuts, the 90-ish minutes we got was more than we really expected: wall-to-wall classics — “Bomb the Twist”! “She was a Mau-Mau”! “I Was a Teenage Cave Woman”! “Three Cool Chicks”! And they brought out a guest keyboard player named Mabo, who was clearly stoked to be laying down his killer honky-tonk piano in the honky-tonk capital of the world. We can all agree there is nothing more enjoyable than a musician who's obviously enjoying what they do. They rocked, we danced, and everything was about as perfect as we could have hoped, except that the one song we really, really wanted to hear — the aforementioned “Jayne Mansfield” — didn't look like it was going to happen. Whatever, we're The Spin, disappointment is part of the gig.
But then the main man at Third Man stepped onstage and strapped on his guitar. There was an awkward blues-jam moment, and then ... yes?! Noooooo ... yes! “I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield”! We've got an epic nerd-bond with you now, Jack, and we can't thank you enough for making sure our jam made it into the set — you are now absolved from all past, present and future sins in the eyes of The Spin. (Not that we could think of any previous offenses, and we doubt there will be any in the future, but y'know, just in case.) It was one of those transcendent moments that everybody hopes for when they go to a rock 'n' roll show, but rarely gets — a moment that reminds you why you love music in the first place. Again, guys, thank you so, so much.