(Also appearing: The Shut-Ups and
Casper And The Cookies)
Show Report By Chris McKay
For the 2 days prior to this show, I was working on a high pressure photo shoot in Atlanta, staying in a hotel room and working crazy hours so by the time I got to the Watt on this Friday night, I was bleary. Even so, The Darlings stepped up for our 4th consecutive strong show. I've never had a “new band” play this many shows in a row with everyone being a success in their own right.
Tonight, we had our friend Jonathan Thompson (who's been to more Critical Darlings shows than most Critical Darlings) hosting the event and even adding in some rock trivia questions and such. The initial idea for this bill came from his Monday night rock trivia that happens every week over at Little Kings.
Jason from Casper And The Cookies, Ben from The Shut-Ups and I thought a show together might be a fun idea, so we made it happen.
Playing at the 40 Watt in the middle of summer is always daunting. Basically, if you make the venue's production costs, you're doing well. Very well, if you ask me. I was just hoping for that. We started off the night and not long before we went on, it was pretty empty. I was a little worried, but by the time we got onstage, it had filled in nicely.
My memories of this show are a little hazy from my exhaustion. I know it went just fine. I know we still haven't duplicated a set list. I remember it as not having our usual energy, but hey, that will happen occasionally. It's also tougher when the crowd is mostly seated and can't be seen because they're a bit further back.
It didn't matter. You could sure hear them after every song. I remember “Happy Here And Now” being sloppy in a rock and roll way. And I definitely remember the finale. We decided to close with a cover of The Soft Boys' “I Wanna Destroy You” and Ben and Jason got up onstage to sing the choruses with us. It was definitely not the tightest thing we've done, but it was a lot of fun. I was honored that they'd step up there with us.
I'm a fan of both of their bands and sharing the stage with them not only in sequence, but all at once was pretty darn cool.
I also remember Casper And The Cookies rocking harder than I've ever heard them before and then The Shut-Ups got all surreal. Or maybe I was hallucinating by that point. In any case, this was yet another fun night.
And then when we got the totals after the show and realized that we'd not only made more than the production, but enough to pay all the bands and our host for the evening, I was elated.
Thanks, 40 Watt, for taking a chance on us. Thanks to Casper And The Cookies. Thanks to The Shut-Ups and thanks to Jonathan Thompson for making this a night I'll always (sort of) remember!
Critical Darlings Set List
July 22, 2011
1. The Only Way
2. Sadder Day
3. Hold On
4. Man Trash
6. Waiting For The Siren
7. Scared Of Myself
8. Worms On The Pavement
9. Happy Here And Now
10. I Wanna Destroy You (Soft Boys Cover with Jason NeSmith and Ben Spraker)