Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings

Saturday February 16, 2008


International Pop Overthrow

Atlanta, GA


Today was another good day for the Darlings. I've always wanted to play at Vinyl in Atlanta. I've always dreamed of playing in the International Pop Overthrow. We knocked 'em both out tonight thanks to a hookup from Jerry Boyd and an invitation from David Bash.

We got to the gig early. There would be no soundcheck. We couldn't even use our own amps. 9 or so bands were scheduled and it was a tight night. We were 3rd so the crowd was still getting there. There were probably 50-75 people milling around when we went on.


About 5 past 9, we sauntered onto the stage and David Bash gave us a great introduction. 20 minutes is almost impossible for us to write a list for so we basically did our normal opening, our centerpieces and our "single". The pacing and performance was about perfect. The sound was not.

Feedback in the key of "E" rumbled through the monitor system for the first 2 songs so we couldn't really hear much of anything. Luckily, the band was able to play through it.

I dedicated "Sadder Day" to the memory of Danny Esposito and the show started hear for me as I considered the first 2 soundcheck. I must say, it was a very strong performance of the song.


"Phony" followed (sans the "I Won't Stand Still" lead-in). We did a little slower, doomier and more measured tonight. It was cool this way too. Joe, Frank and Josh really tore it up around me while I did the extended solo. Frank really stepped up tonight. Not only did he play great (as everyone else did too) but he really put on a great show. It may be the first time (which Josh pointed out) that Mr. DeFreese has stolen the show. The new outfit probably didn't hurt!


All night, we got great response from the crowd despite "the canyon of coolness" that prevented people from coming up to the stage this early in the evening. It's okay. It only made the seats better for the people that had traveled in to see us. I was especially happy to see Nikki was the door girl since I haven't seen her in a couple of years. Josh's parents and sister were also wonderfully supportive by coming out!

"Towel Cape Song" rounded things out very well. We did an extra "up" version since it was the closer. It rocked really hard I'm happy to say. There was just enough power in the pop to make it perfect for the evening. The end harmony was a bit off but the thundering, noisy ending was dead on. It wasn't perfect tonight but it was about as perfect as our brand of rock and roll should ever be.


When we were done, David had more great things to announce about us. I can't remember exactly what he had to say but I heard the phrases "very professional" and "well-dressed" making me chuckle as I cleared the stage. Next time, all we need is matching berets to compete with him.

I hung around for awhile and chatted with Quint, the guys in The Pinx and the guys from The Hot Rods. Man, it was good to be able to just chat with people and talk about the likes of Jellyfish and Tony Visconti without me even being the one to bring 'em up! I think we made some great new friends and can't wait to begin sharing gigs with 'em!



Atlanta, GA Set List

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

1. The Only Way ****
2. Sometimes I'm Sam ***
3. Sadder Day *****
4. Phony *****
5. Towel Cape Song ****