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
“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
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