don’t always work out as planned. There had been a few issues
between other members of the band that had started during our video shoot at
Live From The Classic City a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t even told about them until
later. By this time, I was made aware and, unfortunately, those issues had spread.
Even so, we all pulled together and did the best we could. And that
was pretty good. It was the first time in public for Alex, Kate and
I. And it was the first time for all of us with Mark Crowley on bass
and Robert Caruthers on guitar.
For the past couple of years, the Critical Darlings have been me
(and Frank) with pick-up bands. I had hoped to get rid of that
feeling, but honestly, it still kind of felt that way tonight.
Despite that, I was just so happy to be playing again and satisfied
to know that the Darlings can survive and apparently will.
I was a bit nervous since we had to debut the new lineup by
following one of my personal idols, Michael Guthrie. Coincidentally,
Ash Miltiades is the bass player for the Michael Guthrie Band. I had
been playing with him in The Pretty Please. I had no idea that I would
get my wish and have him as a member of The Critical Darlings within
I think we did just fine. It was a
little slow going at first, but once we dug into “Hold On” for the
very first public outing, it was feeling good. Even though the
backup vocals (and
the mic) were on the wrong side of the stage and not what we’d
rehearsed, the song held up. The addition of Kate on keys and vocals
was obviously a good one. And Alex was the MVP of the band tonight
in my opinion.
Both “Waiting For The Siren” and “Worms On The Pavement” made me
happy. Finally, after all these years, the keyboards were in there
and giving us that extra lushness for the first song and the extra
darkness on the latter.
And speaking of darkness, we closed out with “You Belong To Me”. I
had done it once before with The Spinoffs, but this was the first
Critical Darlings performance. In many ways, it was the weakest song
tonight, but it still made its point. I was satisfied with the gig
and afterwards, Michael Guthrie told me that he felt like we stole
Considering the amazing line-up, that was an incredible compliment.
I don’t believe it, but I wish I could. This is the first show with
this many bands that I’ve ever been on where I loved each one. We
were all complimentary without being redundant. And to see some of
the people out there in the audience who I’ve followed and been in
the audience for their shows over the years made it feel even more
It was clear that this lineup wasn’t THE lineup yet, but we were
well on the way and that issue didn’t last long.
Special thanks to Michael Guthrie for inviting us out to play this
great benefit show and to Kemp Jones from the MGB for saving us when
we had issues with our keyboard. Thanks also to Kevin Sweeney for
that sweet mix and the recording of the show. We hope to see you