Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings

Friday May 25, 2007
(With G'N'R, "The Ultimate Guns 'N' Roses Tribute Band")

Atmosphere
Loganville, GA

I was so out of it for this show that I can hardly put it into words. I was tired. I can only imagine that Joe was even worse. I had a maximum of 2 hours sleep prior to this show and I was feeling it. I wondered how I'd make it through. At least I hadn't had no sleep AND worked all day like Joe had. Somehow, we managed to pull it off anyway. I'd be lying if I said we weren't much sloppier than usual. I'd be lying if I said that we were as on top of our game as usual. We still did just fine, thank you. I'm so proud of this band and our ability to rise above the obstacles. Add to that the fact that Jonathan, Zundra, Tyslon, Adriana and Allison made it out from Athens and joined in the audience participation part of the show and it was all the better.

When we got to Atmosphere, I was blown away by the venue itself. The place was huge, the stage was amazing and the light and sound systems were fit for an arena. The venue is so new that they were still putting things into place when we got there. Apparently, we are the first "official show" there. They did some run throughs over the last couple of weeks but we got the honors of opening it up "for real." Thanks to Mike Cohen from Quincy Entertainment for asking us out. We're blown away to help start off this great rock 'n' roll venue. We spent a little time with Ed from Atmosphere. He treated us wonderfully. Between him, David (the sound man) and Michael (the owner), we've rarely been treated this well. They went out of their way for us and we did our best to return the favor.

As for the show itself, to be honest, it's all a blur. The first few songs were functional and not much more. About halfway through "Towel Cape Song" the band seemed to find its feet. "I Know Too Much (For My Own Good)" got a huge response. By this point, there were at least a couple of hundred people there. Still, we've been spoiled by people coming right up front lately and we felt the separation since these people were almost all across a dance floor. I kept trying to inspire them to come up to the front but in my exhausted state, I couldn't find the words. The solo in "Phony" was just right. Afterward, someone told me that when I hit the guitar on that it sounded like thunder cracking through the venue. Needless to say, I liked that. Josh really helped out by offering shots to the first 10 people to come up to the stage for the finale. It worked. The show ended with another big throwdown that felt more like other performances of late. All in all, it was a tough show but we pulled it out in the end!

And here's Josh's report:

"This was a weird one. After the show in Chattanooga, Joe and Frank drove all the way back to Athens because they couldn't get out of their day jobs on Friday. Meanwhile, Chris tried to make it back but stopped 30 miles outside of Chattanooga to get a hotel (but couldn't sleep). Needless to say, the band was tired when we showed up to @mosphere club in Loganville, GA.

 

First, this is a brand new club. We walked in at 6PM for load in to the sounds of an air compressed nail gun going off approximately 3 times a second. (Yep, there were still building parts of it!)

The head of the venue, Ed, had us go ahead and set up as the headliners were late. When they finally came in, (GnR – The “Ultimate” Guns n Roses tribute band) they were nearly an hour off-schedule and demanded that we tear down the drum kit and give them the riser. We reluctantly did just that. They immediately started badgering us as if we were amateurs. Without going into much detail, after setting them straight, we had a mutual understanding. We got a long fine and they were perfectly cool after that.

 

We got onstage (probably earlier than we should've) and we got a decent response from the crowd, winning over a marginal amount of people who applauded vigorously from their seats. After "Phony", I wanted more reaction from the crowd so I screamed at Chris that I would give a shot to the first 10 people that came to the front of the stage, rocked out, and stayed until the end of the show. My ploy worked! Probably about 20 people came to the stage and transformed the show from an okay night to a good one.

After a quick load out, I bought the shooters from a very attractive shooter-girl at $2 a piece and got them to sign the guest list. They were all very nice people.

Josh's Ratings:

Musicality @ 78%

Showmanship @ 90%

 

Chris' completely biased star reviews of each song performed.

1. The Only Way***
2. Sometimes I'm Sam***
3. Waiting For The Siren***
4. Sadder Day***
5. Towel Cape Song****
6. I Know Too Much (For My Own Good)****
7. Scared Of Myself****
8. I Won't Stand Still****
9. Phony****
10. Taking Its Toll*****
11. Give Up Town****

After the show was over, I felt triumphant if for no other reason than for getting the adrenaline up enough to do alright. I even took a sip from a glass of champagne that I was offered in celebration (from a bottle that goes for $500 a pop). We were invited back "whenever we want to come back" and we can't wait to show 'em what we're like when we're firing on all cylinders. Thanks to the Atmosphere staff and everyone involved.

They even gave us a nice little tip. Heck, we're so thrilled to be invited back that we'll even try to fill the promoter's post-show request for a KISS song the next time we come through.

We'll be back June 29. We can't wait.

 

Photos by Amanda Stahl.

 

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