Saturday May 22, 2004 - Buffington's - Milledgeville, GA
(with Drunk & Furious and Umpteen)

(What was it that they used to say about your name being up in chalk? Note the spelling!)


Buffington's is the kind of place that Star Zero could never play (and probably wouldn't have wanted to) but Q-Sign would've done just fine in. It was a restaurant. It did have a stage, drum riser, etc. It was still odd to just go up on stage in street clothes, open with a few laid back songs and not even try to adopt a personality. So strange in fact, that I had to break out a couple of rockers that weren't on the set list. It just felt too odd after so long playing a certain way. The nightmare moment came early. "(Save It For) Another Day" was second and I broke a string in the first chorus. Surprisingly, the Hamer stayed absolutely in tune. I got the band through the second chorus and tried to end it together. Unfortunately, no one took the bait so I left them to fend for themselves throughout (of all parts) the guitar solo section while I switched back to my old Fender buddy! We got through it. After that difficulty, we played almost all of the rest of the songs flawlessly. Even though our voices were shot, we pulled it all off great. A friend of Tom who is in Umpteen (who played after us) actually said it was "light years" beyond Tom's other bands in tightness, sound and playing. I took that as a huge compliment, especially 'cause this guy was in one of Tom's previous bands. Overall, for me personally, it was a mediocre trial by fire. I was trying so hard to just be me that I think I stopped being me! Does that makes sense? From now on, if I want to lay back I will. If I want to rock, I will. No limitations. Luckily (cause the other way 'round would be sad), I'm the harshest critic. Everyone else seemed to really enjoy it. All I can say, if they enjoyed that...wait 'til the see the first CONCERT. This was an open rehearsal. The Hamer era didn't even really begin. That was the end of the Fender era.

Just FYI - the songs that got the best response seemed to be "Colors In Black & White" and "Worms On The Pavement." I'm blown away by the fact that those quirky little songs did so well.

Here's the set list and a 1 - 5 star ranking on how I thought the performances of each went down. (Warning: This is my totally biased and personally colored opinion. )

1. Sometimes I'm Sam ***
2. (Save It For) Another Day *
3. Into My View *** (N)
4. Phony ***
5. Until The Road Ends ***
6. Give Up Town ***
7. Haven't Got A Clue **** (N)
8. Goodbye Tuesday ***
9. Colors In Black & White **** (N)
10. Worms On The Pavement **** (N)
11. The Towel Cape Song *** (N)
12. Taking Its Toll ****
13. Creepy Jackalope Eye **** (N)

Obviously, this was the first time that the Critical Darlings played ANY of these songs but the (N) stands for NEW, meaning it's the first time I've ever performed the songs with ANY band. Geez, you know - that's a long set list for an opening act! We went off the set list quite frequently.

And for an unsolicited, stumbled upon opinion - this comes from the Drunk & Furious website...

" This was the first show for Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings and they kicked enough ass to last them a few weeks."

Thanks, guys...and thanks for allowing us to play before you sick S.O.B.'s

Tom, Chris & show and walking the streets.

(photo by Julia Barnes)