Friday January 9, 2009
(With Futureshock)

Hank's Garage
Atlanta, GA



Our friend Emily Kimball traveled down from Nashville to the show last Friday in Atlanta for another taping of the Hank's Garage TV show. Not only that, she........ agreed to write about her experience at the show and tell you all about it. So here’s Emily!

“Well, it has been a long time since I’ve written one of these, and just about as long since I’ve seen the Critical Darlings perform.  To say the least, this performance was very different from the ones I’ve been to in the past since it was for a TV shooting.  With that being the case, I won’t lie. I figured the sound equipment would be better than it was. The set up did not make for the best environment. We decided to make the best of it anyway, and had a good time in the process.

Since it was such a unique set up and there were some comfy chairs, we made a nice circle of them in front of the stage and had the “Critical Darlings Lounge.”  This way we were able to watch the rock in absolute comfort!




 Of course the guys had to sound check at which they played David Bowie’s “Look Back In Anger.”  Let me just say that it was near perfect (minus the fact that you could not hear Chris’s vocal due to adjustments still happening). This tune also made me remember why I love to hear the Darlings play some ....Bowie.....

 To start the real show, they ran through “The Only Way,” which rocked as usual.

Next up was “Rage On” which would have sounded great, but Joe’s mic was not the best and it got where you simply could not hear him. Which Joe’s co-lead vocal and the harmonies being so integral to this song, Chris kept trying to get his mic over to Joe so that his vocal could be heard. At least for the end Chris and Joe shared the center stage mic and each part was heard.


It was time to get into some older material, and “Towel Cape Song” is always a good one for this. They had to do a false start due to power issues causing Chris’s guitar to sound incredibly quiet. If it were a real “concert”, they surely would’ve kept playing but since this was T.V., it was easy enough to just retake it. When they started going through again, the guitar was still quiet but better than it was before.

 As some of you may know, Chris usually jumps into the air the end of “Towel Cape Song”. Well, he did jump just like usual but this time Chris’ left shoe went flying off and hit Joe full speed in the face. It was touch and go for a second as the shoe ricocheted into the audience. Since we had our little “lounge” set up it landed by us and we kept a good eye on it and make sure it wouldn’t go flying anywhere else. Joe was clearly knocked off his game and the band took a few minutes for him to recover. Chris didn’t even realize that Joe had been hit until he looked to start the next song and found Joe gone.


Once Joe recovered from the incident with the shoe, it was time for “Sadder Day.” It was rockin’ until Joe hit the solo. I’ve decided at this point that he must have suffered a bit of amnesia from what had just has happened as he appeared to forget where he was in the solo. This was the only big mess up in the set but under the circumstances, I think Joe held together pretty well as he was hit pretty hard.

After everyone got their heads on straight, or at least not hurting as much, they started into “I Won’t Stand Still.” This one required another re-start due to the issues with the PA.

“Phony” followed which sounded great as always. I have always loved hearing it, and I don’t know if I could ever get enough of Chris’ solo at the end. One simply cannot see that and deny that the Darlings indeed know how to rock out!

  Finally to finish the portion of the show where Chris plays guitar there was “Scared of Myself.” It was tight, and again I always forget how much I like this song until I hear it played live.
 In total rock ‘n’ roll cheesiness; Chris has to roll around like a mad man for “Happy Here and Now.” During this he almost fell off the stage, but with cat-like reflexes he caught himself in mid-air before it could have turned into something that would have really hurt him. To make up for not falling, later in the song, he did a backwards summersault and landed on one shoulder. Just from sitting there watching it seemed painful and after the show, he admitted how much it really hurt.

Finally, since they were just having fun at that point, Chris decided that they’d play Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” as a victory lap. To say the least this was intense! Chris decided to show the rock star within by not only rolling around and being an all around crazy man but by attacking the stripper pole, leaping in and out of the audience and in general, going too far (in a good way).


All in all, the band got a bit hurt physically tonight (and Frank is still recovering from injuries sustained during a Christmas Eve car wreck) but no one was worse than wear (except maybe Chris’ voice). This should certainly turn out to be a must-see video. Let’s hope we get to see it soon!”

(Here's a video of the "freakout" at the end of the set. We just needed to blow off steam. This is unmixed raw audio and footage of the stupidity. We make no excuses.)


Thanks, Emily. As usual, your presence and observations are appreciated! I also want to thank Nick and the whole crew of Hank's Garage and the guys in Playground Rivals for putting in a rockin' set, hanging out and inviting us to do some future shows together. We'll see you soon!

Chris’ totally biased ratings for the evening:

1. The Only Way ***
2. Rage On **
3. Towel ....Cape.. ..Song....***
4. Sadder Day*
5. I Won’t Stand Still ****
6. Phony ****
7. Scared Of Myself ****
8. Happy Here And Now ****
9. Dancing With Myself ****
















All pictures by Amanda McKay. Copyright 2009.