Sunday June 26, 2011

Bey’s In Five Points
Columbia,
SC

 

By Chris McKay


If this show was any indication of the power of the new band, we can do anything we want.

Not long after we arrived at the venue, it looked like our debut was set to be a spectacular failure. There had been miscommunications on basically every level. We were all a bit weary from traveling in, especially since most of us had to leave after the Sunday night show to get back to work on Monday morning.

It was not the time for surprises. And yet there were plenty.

What summed up the beginning was when I talked to one of the club’s reps. I told him the situation. He looked at me and said nicely, but bluntly...”Hmmm...then you’re fu@#ed.” Yikes.

And still, we wound up with the best possible scenario coming from what looked like impending doom at first. It’s nice to have a crew as nice as the one at Bey’s. The other bands were super-supportive as well. We had an extended entourage at this one and everyone chipped in to make it as smooth as possible.

There wasn’t much in the way of a stage, lighting or p.a. for this gig. In fact, neither Adam or Ash could even fit on the stage. Adam stood in front of the stage and Ash was off the other side in the walkway between the bar and the stage. We’ll choose to call it cozy. And since we had a keyboard and a drum kit up there, there wasn’t much room for anything. We made the best of it.

We were onstage by 9 o’clock. Originally we were told 7, then 8, then “no sooner than 11:30”. The last one wasn’t an option and again, everyone pulled together to make it work.

We launched right into “The Only Way”. I wasn’t nervous, but I was a bit worried that our straight up rock and roll wouldn’t be all that appreciated at what was basically a punk show. I was very wrong. Everyone was great. There was dancing almost immediately. There were smiles and devil horns.

We had no monitors so hearing what was happening wasn’t a choice for us. We were just trying to keep up with ourselves as we launched into the first ever live performance of “Feels Like Yesterday”. I’ve got to say, I’m surprised at what a rocker this one’s turned into over time. Ash’s and Kate’s harmony vocals plus the honky-tonk piano and harmony guitars really elevate the song. It just feels right.

Before going into more familiar territory (for me anyway), Ash let me know that he had broken a string on the first note of the first song. I couldn’t even tell and he made it through the opening double shot before switching. “Sadder Day” was as it always was at its best. And let me tell you, hearing the harmony guitars at the end make me very happy. It’s been more than 2 years since I’ve heard this stuff played right.

We started off “Towel Cape Song” with Kate conjuring up angels on her keys. Then the song barreled down full steam. It rocked. Then we segued seamlessly into “Worms On The Pavement” which may have actually been the best that song has EVER been played. “Worms” was intense. I think it was the highlight of the night for me musically and it’s never been one of my personal favorite songs.

Next up, we did the first ever lead vocal by someone else at a Darlings show as we debuted Kate’s “Man Trash”. Unfortunately, the vocal was too low and no one could get back behind Alex to adjust levels. The point of the song was lost without the vocals, but the music still sounds so good. I can’t wait to feature Ash and Kate regularly. It’s what I always wanted for not only the Darlings, but every other band of which I’ve been a part.

“Hold On” was next and it wasn’t as much of a grand slam as the first time we played it at The Melting Point. It got one of the biggest responses of the night even so. Again, the lack of hearing the 3-part harmony clearly was a bit of a let down, but the point was made. The ending felt a little sloppy, too, but again, we couldn’t hear anything. It was more sight cuing and we were basically in the dark!

“Waiting For The Siren” had ‘em up and dancing again and it rocked. Again, hearing the keyboard synths plus the extra chunky guitar made it bigger and better. Alex and Adam were dead on. I hardly had to think of them and that’s the highest compliment I can pay. “Scared Of Myself” was just as good. I was so happy that my voice was there for me. For days, I’d had a sore throat and had been gargling hydrogen peroxide, using throat spray for vocalists and anything else I can do. I’ve had plenty of problems in the past, but my voice has never been one of them. Fortunately, it wasn’t an issue tonight either.

“Phony” stomped hard. Ash actually doubles my guitar riff. I didn’t think that was the best idea at first, but when Kate added her greasy, Deep Purple-like organ underneath it, I heard what Ash was going for. It’s heavier than it’s ever been . It all became kind of washed out near the end, but that was the lack of P.A. The band was ON!

“You Belong To Me” starts with Kate before the rest of us try to make it sound like Godzilla has just stomped the stage. It’s definitely intense. During the solo section, a bar fight broke out. Amanda credited the intensity of the tune. It’s a psychotic little s.o.b., that song is. You really have to hear it to “get it”. Plenty of people seemed to “get it” tonight even with the chaotic non-mix that was happening. It was the one specific title that I had name dropped after the show as a highlight.

Ash took over lead guitar for the last 2 tunes. “Happy Here And Now” was easily the sloppiest, just because (again) no one could hear. I took the opportunity to have some fun. I popped balloons that were on the floor in front of the stage from the pre-concert baby shower. I rolled around on the floor and generally went too far. The band rocked. Some cues were missed, but the eyebrows were there and that’s more important.

I dedicated the last song to the 8 alleged people who beat up an 18-year old kid on the streets of Five Points a few days before the gig. “I Wanna Destroy You” is an old Soft Boys tune. A.D. Crawford of The Dirty Spiders jumped up on the mic with Ash to help us belt out the choruses (Thanks, man). I nearly injured myself rolling upside down kicking balloons. I must remember to stretch. Oh, and I chipped a tooth a bit on the microphone early in the show. It’s rock and roll.

I sincerely hope and dream that this is the last “first” show for a very long time. This lineup could easily be the best ever already and we’ve had some killer lineups. This one will have to be expansive. With Ash and Kate both being uber-talented performers, singers and songwriters, we’ll have so much to offer.

I am lucky to be able to work with Adam, Alex, Ash and Kate. I hope the feeling is mutual and I hope we have a long way to go. I hope we get to come to wherever you are very soon. If you get the chance, c’mon out. If you’ve ever liked us, I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. If you’ve ever been curious then now’s the time.

What was is definitely done with. This is NOW. This is who we are.

 

Chris’ totally biased star reviews of each song.

 

 

1. The Only Way****
2. Feels Like Yesterday*** (First ever performance)
3. Sadder Day****
4. Towel Cape Song****
5. Worms On The Pavement*****
6. Man Trash*** (First ever band performance)
7. Hold On***
8. Waiting For The Siren****
9. Scared Of Myself****
10. Phony****
11. You Belong To Me***
12. Happy Here And Now**
13. I Wanna Destroy You*** (First ever performance) (With A.D. Crawford from The Dirty Spiders)

 


Thanks to Reno Gooch and the whole Space Coke contingent. Thanks to A.D. and The Dirty Spiders. Thanks to the family and friends that came out. Thanks to the people that traveled in from the east and west to converge on that little club with us.

We’re back and we’re happy to disappoint those who didn’t think it would happen. Oh...it’s happening.

ROCK!

 

See all of the photos from this show by visiting the Facebook photo gallery.

 

Were you there?

Visit our Facebook page and tell us what you thought!

OR

Email Chris and tell him you want to review the next show! We'll even post it!

 

 

 

Shows

 

Home