Chris McKay & The Critical Darlings

Wednesday July 30, 2008


Star Bar

Atlanta, GA



Review by Amanda McKay


This was the first show without Joe, who couldn't make it due to health issues. We had plenty of fan support regardless, including our friends Mary and photographer Spark.The band debuted the new shirts, which look incredible. There were  three designs - Thoth, Buddha, and 45. They all seemed equally popular. I bought a cerulean Buddha and wore it for the next 3 days in a row!




Although we missed Joe, the band did just fine without him since it had originally begun as a three piece. The guys really rose to the challenge of having to make last minute changes, especially Chris, who had to learn all of Joe's solos during load-in time. The band sounded really solid and together. Frank put on a hell of a show, thrashing around even more than usual. Josh wanted to sing backup, but the boom mic wouldn't cooperate. Too bad; I really
wanted to hear him sing! He made up for it by adding some improv to fill out the sound and just being his usual solid drummer self.


There were just a few places where Joe's absence really made a difference. "Worms on the Pavement" didn't sound quite right, ironically, since that was written for a three piece. Maybe I was missing the harmonies? "Sadder Day," of course, seemed empty even though Chris played Joe's solo. It's always a highlight to see Joe and Chris play off each other for the ending, although no one would notice if they hadn't seen the band before. 




especially missed seeing Chris put down the guitar and tear about the stage when he morphs into "lead singer" near the end of the show. He can't do that without a second guitarist, so that entire final act had to be cut. Without it, the band wasn't as over-the-top and out of control for the ending. Even without the icing on the cake, this was still a solid, enjoyable show.



Star Bar Set List

1. I Won't Stand Still
2. Phony
3. Sadder Day
4. Happy Here And Now
5. Worms On The Pavement
6. Waiting For The Siren
7. Scared Of Myself
8. Towel Cape Song





Photos by Amanda McKay. Copyright 2008.