Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings

Tuesday August 14, 2007


Tasty World

(with The Charms and Great Society)
Acoustic with Josh Harrison on congas

Athens, GA


Last week, Frank, Joe and I took the stage at Tasty World in Athens with no amps. We simply plugged our acoustic guitars into the mains and went for it. Why? Well, because Josh couldn't get down from Nashville in time for the gig. That sucked royally but we decided to go on anyway. After all, we lost more than enough shows this summer due to something called pneumonia.

We also considered it a challenge.

Joe and I went out first as a duo. We debuted "Rage On" and "From Now 'Til Then". We were surprised at how many people filtered in for a Tuesday night show! It was strange sitting down and singing songs we'd never done but we pulled 'em off great. Both songs got a killer response.

Then we did something even crazier.

Today, on a whim, I decided to give Joshua Harrison a call. Joshua's new to Athens and we've been talking to him (and a few other guys) about joining up as our new drummer. I challenged him to come out and sit in with us tonight for this weird, one-off (or is it?) acoustic gig.

You see, Josh Couillard's moved out to the Nashville area and our "other drummer" Mike Rietveld is in South Carolina. It's a problem on evenings like tonight. So yeah – we're looking for a permanent, local drummer.

At load-in, Joshua came in and introduced himself. He brought a conga, a kick drum, hi-hat and tambourine. We set him up on stage left. After the first 2 songs, I started off "Down" for the first time in a year. At the spot where the band comes in, Frank and Joshua moseyed on up to the stage and joined in. It was amazingly tight. I was so impressed that I forgot the words at the end. Luckily, most of the people didn't know it so I ended with an instrumental flourish.


From there, it was hit or miss, which is certainly the nature of this kind of thing. "The Only Way" and "Sometimes I'm Sam" were solid and got big rounds of applause.

On the other hand, "Waiting For The Siren" kind of bombed in this format. "Scared Of Myself" was fine as it always is and "An Uncertain Flight" was unveiled for the first time. Besides a weird cue or two for Joshua, "Flight" worked amazingly well.

"Sadder Day" was going great, too, until Joe had a technical problem and lost his signal during the big solo (again). With a laugh, he began scat-singing George Benson (or David Gilmour) style. That made up for it. After that, we wound up with "Towel Cape Song". There was a big round of applause and we took off.




Athens, GA Set List

(with Chris’ totally biased ratings for the evening!)

1.Rage On (Chris & Joe) (F) ****
2. From Now 'Til Then (Chris & Joe) (F) ****
3. Down ***
4. The Only Way ****
5. Sometimes I'm Sam ****
6. Waiting For The Siren **
7. Scared Of Myself ****
8. An Uncertain Flight (F) ****
9. Sadder Day **
10. Towel Cape Song ****


ROCK that I don't know how to judge this. It was definitely an interesting experience and I hope that we get the opportunity to expand on it. If we do, I'd prefer to do it in more intimate environments and keep the big stages (like tonight) to the BIG SHOW. Y'know?

At least one regular told me that they preferred this to the electric set. We also got more additions to the mailing list tonight than at (possibly) any other show.

I can't wait to show the newbies what we do when we're plugged in!

I want to thank the guys in Great Society for inviting us out and the Tasty World crew for letting us experiment.