Thursday March 19, 2009

Legion Field - UGA
Athens, GA





By Kristen "Echoreyn" Danch-Powell



Wow. This town never ceases to give me amazing new musical experiences! I'm not even sure how it happens. I guess I'm just incredibly lucky!

I was invited to this school-sponsored music festival, and since I had nothing better to do today (and I was trying to forget what a terrible day I had), I decided to go. I heard several bands play there, but the very last act of the night, Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings, blew me away. They brought a whole new energy to the stage that I loved. Truly, their stage presence was spectacular, and their talent was undeniable.

Also, in my mind, there are two things that make a great band utterly amazing. The first thing is a penchant for making
clever comments or sharing amusing anecdotes between songs. They certainly provided us with entertainment during the pauses which was nice. The next and most important thing is a genuine love for their fans. Bands that thank their fans, take the time to talk to them, and make them feel special top my list of awesome musical acts. Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings met and surpassed this criteria. Not only did they give us shoutouts for dancing, but they also sang directly to us when we stepped closer to the stage. Then, after they finished playing, they gave everyone in the audience free CDs and offered to sign them. They were incredibly happy to chat with us as they signed them as well. To top it all off, they are going to try to put all of us who stayed after the show onto the VIP/ special guest list for their show tomorrow night. How amazing is that! Oh, and we all got hugs from the lead singer too.

Basically, Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings gave us a truly awesome musical experience. It's times like these that I fully appreciate the freaking fantastic life that I lead.





The Dude Sustains

By Jordan Stepp

Flagpole Magazine



I don’t know how many people got out to the Sustainapalooza on Thursday night, but it was a great time for everyone. There were plenty of cool booths and tables out on Legion Field with messages about recycling and how to create a more sustainable lifestyle. One guy I ran into was wearing shorts and socks made from llama fur. He was walking around barefoot and smiling like this was a Grateful Dead show and he was Owsly’s best friend.


I am a big Five Eight fan, so when I heard that they were playing, I didn’t feel so bad about not going to SXSW. They played a few new cuts to a very happy crowd. And there was dancing. Lots of dancing. When Five Eight plays, they bring the energy that you didn’t know you had.

Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings played last on the bill to a small but very appreciative crowd. The band’s new album, Satisfactionista, is a full-on onslaught of rock and roll like you used to hear. It seems people are scared of rocking like the Rolling Stones once did, but the Darlings in full flight is something to see. After the show, the band simply jumped offstage into the crowd, gave away CDs and then signed them. Now THAT is how you win over a fan.

So all in all, Sustainapalooza was a great chance to hear good music and learn about taking care of the environment that we all inhabit. I can’t wait until next year.





Set List for the Evening:
1. The Only Way
2. Sometimes I'm Sam
3. Sadder Day
4. Rage On
5. Phony
6. Waiting For The Siren
7. Scared Of Myself
8. Happy Here And Now




Click here for more pics of Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings at Sustainapalooza.



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All pictures by Amanda McKay. Copyright 2009.