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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Happy Here and Now

Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings at Go Bar

Sometimes you've got to just embrace your life even when times are tough. Chris McKay took this idea to heart when he rocked out on the Go Bar stage with the rest of the Critical Darlings last night despite having a concussion. He just can't stay away from the rock! I'm utterly amazed at his ability to still maintain some semblance of his trademark rockstar energy while suffering from head trama. That's nearly superhuman!

Although the sound quality at Go Bar was rather horrible and Joe's microphone was most tragically dead, Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings still managed to fill my ears with some of their most danceable tunes. Their songs never cease to pull me to my feet and put a smile on my face. They've got a style that hearkens back to the days of classic rock, and there's a certain edgy joy in all of their lyrics which is evident in every one of their performances. And, on top of all of this, they're some of the sweetest guys ever. I seriously urge everyone to check these guys out!

After the Darlings, Alanta band the Pinx took the stage. The first thing that caught my eye even before they stepped onstage was a plastic owl with glowing red eyes that they apparently bring to all of their shows. Props for the props! I loved it. Once they began playing, it was clear why the Darlings and the Pinx are such good friends. They have a similar energy that the Pinx displayed last night with lots of head banging and some rather nice guitar parts that, at times, resembled the wildly impressive sound of the band of demons in the song The Devil Went Down to Georgia. They ended their set with some songs that had a darker edge to them that I truly enjoyed.

Afterward, while walking back through downtown, I ran into some friends who were dancing just outside of the gate of the Boar's Head Lounge to some 80's tunes. Now, I wouldn't mention a cover band in this blog unless they were amazing, but Velvet Runway, the band that was playing there, was just that. They rocked the songs as if they had written them, and it was impossible for all of us not to dance. Apparently, our enthusiasm was infectious because several people we didn't know joined us in our outdoor dance fest. Our excitement also sparked the interest of many potential lounge patrons, and during one of the songs, a guy informed us that we looked like the badasses from a scene in some old movie. Thanks, dude! Even the band showed their appreciation. Awesome.

Basically, the night was a blast! Two live bands and a cover band all in a row... You've gotta love Athens!