Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings


Saturday December 15, 2007


Clarke Middle School Benefit

Athens, GA






This is the one show we kept on the calendar. Yes, it's true. We ditched several dates in order to re-group and / or focus on the studio work but I'd always wanted to play at Allen's (even in the new location) just 'cause of the Athens history involved and this was also a benefit to raise money for Clarke Middle School's after school program. As it turned out, it provided Josh's parents with a chance to meet us and see their boy making his local debut with the group. So it was alright all the way around.

There are no photos from this show. It only seems appropriate since there were no pics from the first Critical Darlings show (you can click this link to read what that was like). I consider this the last show of an era. I don't know why. I guess I just need that demarcation. And the official release of a single of some of the Satisfactionista stuff on January 1 suits that fine.

So we'll begin again refreshed and recharged with our January 4 Atlanta show at 10 High.

As for this one, it was alright. We didn't have a soundcheck and worked our way into it following a crazy, cool introduction by Steven (who invited us to play). There were a few technical problems, not the least of which was me losing control over my guitar equipment for about half of "Towel Cape Song" but we got through thanks to a rescue mission by Carla LaFever. We were slightly rusty after being in studio mode and this was more of a polite audience than the crazy people that we've so enjoyed lately but again, I think we worked it about as well as it could be.

I didn't really start feeling like I was playing until "Sometimes I'm Sam". And then "Sadder Day" was smoking, garnering a nice round of applause. Joe "Captain Fingers" Orr cut loose on that and "The Only Way". We broke out "Waiting For The Siren" with Josh for the first time due to a request. We still don't have the groove quite nailed down on that one but it rocked suitably. Of course, the last bit was its usual over the top bit of ridiculousness.

"I Won't Stand Still" was especially potent tonight and led into the swagger of "Phony". It was quite THE ROCK. By now I noticed quite a few people taking pics with their cell phones. If you have any, feel free to shoot me a couple of 'em via email ( I'd love to see 'em since we don't have any of our own.

"Taking Its Toll" and "Give Up Town" wound things up nicely. I decided to pull out "Rebel Rebel" for our friend Jonathan as a pseudo-encore. Truth be told, I had the best time of the night bouncing around during this song. It's just so freeing to not have the guitar around my neck. You can be sure that I'll be turning Captain Fingers loose as the sole guitarist at more and more shows as we go.

Overall, Josh did fine. Joe, Frank and I did what we had to do and a bit of silliness was had by all. We sold a few CD's, made some new friends, got invited back to the club and helped support a worthy cause.

AND I got to watch some kind of seriously rough boxing on video screens while I delicately sang "Sadder Day" and "Taking Its Toll". How can't you have fun with people kicking the crap out of each other while you bare your soul?

1. Scared Of Myself
2. Look Back In Anger
3. Rage On
4. The Only Way
5. Sometimes I'm Sam
6. Sadder Day
7. Towel Cape Song
8. Waiting For The Siren
9. I Won't Stand Still
10. Phony
11. Taking Its Toll
12. Give Up Town
13. Rebel Rebel

Thanks to everyone involved for being there and supporting us and the cause!