IF YOU GO
■ What: That ’90s Love Show.
■ When: 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14.
■ Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.
■ Admission: $10.
■ Phone: 423-267-4644.
■ Website: www.rhythm-brews.com.
Don't be fooled by the saccharine greeting cards. Try not to seek wisdom in a bag of candy hearts. Whatever messages Valentine's Day is trying to sell, romance isn't just holding hands and declaring one's love from rooftops.
It's a seriously complicated topic, a fact musicians have long understood and embraced.
Friday night, Feb. 14, at Rhythm & Brews, local tribute collective That '90s Show will reprise its Valentine's Day concert with a set list of Clinton-era hits about crippling self-doubt ("Creep"), regret ("Baby One More Time") and romance that begins and ends in bed ("Caress Me Down").
The 28-song, multigenre-spanning set isn't all lonely-hearts anthems, however. There are nods to the romanticized view of love, but the point of the show is to explore every aspect of relationships, even the painful ones, says group co-founder and drummer Jonathan Susman.
"It deals with all sides of love, like we did last year," he says. "You deal with the good, the bad and the ugly when it comes to relationships because some people are in different [romantic] circumstances.
"They may not be with somebody, and those are the songs that help you move past that."
Lead singer TJ Greever will not be performing with That '90s Show, but his co-founders and fellow Glowing Bordis bandmates, Susman and bassist Dan Pinson, will once again take the stage.
They'll be joined by members of several local groups, including Bill Robinson of Red Necklace, Brett Nolan of Milele Roots and Rick Bowers & The Majors, emcee Sparkz FreeAgent, Zach Bridges of The Nim Nims and longtime collaborator Bexy Ribeiro of Digital Butter. Local funk outfit and Road to Nightfall finalist Function With a C also will be performing and guesting on several songs, Susman says.
In addition to the music, Rhythm & Brews will be decked out in holiday-appropriate trappings, and Susman says there will "definitely be costumes."
Despite its memberships' involvement in numerous local bands, That '90s Show and its special-event alter ego, The Communicators, have collaborated numerous times since last Valentine's Day. If there's one lesson from those experiences they plan to apply to Friday's show, it's presenting a set that's more dynamic and unpredictable, Susman says.
"[We] put together this set list so we keep people on their toes the entire evening," he says. "We change it up. You don't stick a bunch of songs from a certain genre back to back and never see them again. You sprinkle them throughout. It's more of a smattering."
Contact Casey Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6205.
Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...