It was an entertaining evening Thursday night fueled by heavy doses of country twang and serious rock n roll thanks to the bands that performed at one of Cleveland’s best little venues, the Beachland Ballroom. The line-up was enough to call for that simple dreadful sign stating that tickets were sold out. All who were lucky enough to obtain admittance to last night’s performance certainly are still talking about the show that Those Darlins, Hacienda, and Dan Auerbach who is known as the lead signer of The Black Keys all put on.
Having heard about the show last week I decided that it was a show not to be missed and make plans to attend. Accompanied with a couple of friends who have love for the country and the rock I was sure they would have a great time checking out all the bands. We arrived to the Waterloo Rd. venue a little early as I was not certain how long it would take to make the trek there. The Beachland Ballroom is not located exactly downtown Cleveland but just a short drive away on a sketchy yet hip part of town. We arrived with no problems and finally made way into the ballroom. One of the things I like about the Beachland Ballroom is how quaint it is. It reminds me of a gymnasium from a middle school of my past with a stage and no real distractions in the main gathering area itself.
Once we finally got in we made a pit stop at the merch tables and I dropped five dollars on Those Darlin’s Wild One EP. For three songs the five bucks was totally worth it. The main reason I even planned on attending the concert was because of the trio of ladies otherwise known as Those Darlins. I just had received a taste of their sound last week and promptly posted a blog about it. What I heard not only made my day but also made me what to see them perform live.
Normally people get excited for the main act at a concert and the openers are almost like icebreakers for the evening. For the first time in a long time this was not the case for me. I dig the Black Keys and I have seen them live before. I actually had not heard the solo release yet on Dan Auerbach yet and to be honest I was more interested in seeing the opener over the other two bands.
Nashville’s neighboring sweethearts Those Darlins took the stage to a decent sized crowd and opened with “Wild One“. I think it is safe to say that they impressed the crowd right away physically and musically with their mix of country, folk, bluegrass, and sass. Dressed to impress, the three fine-looking girls and their mustache clad drummer had an amazing stage presence and were all smiles through their set. Sipping on strong drinks in between songs the girls shared singing duties and entertained all. “I love you” was shouted more than one time, and although I admit a major crush on the three darlings, I assure you it was not me.
They played the two other tracks on their Wild One EP including the humorous “Whole Damn Thing” as well as a healthy bout of tunes to be hopefully released on their debut CD in June. At times they sounded like The Carter Family and other times reminded me of a female version of Hank Williams III but much better looking. Seeing them live on stage having such a good time really added to the attraction. I was not ready for them to finish when they did and really could have listened to them play all night with their unique sound. I can only hope for a return by the sassy ladies once their debut CD is released.
Many people were excited to see the San Antonio rock jam band Hacienda take stage. I wish I could say I was too, but honestly the only thing I knew about this band is that they were backing up Dan Auerbach during his set and that their latest album, Loud Is The Night, was recorded at Dan Auerbach’s Akron Analog . I checked out some of the set and at times was shaking my head along to the beat. It was good music, but just not what I was looking to hear at the time.
Dan Auerbach with Hacienda and friends took stage after a short break. It was at this moment that I realized how sold out the show really was as I could barely move through the crowd to find a good place to watch the headliner. With only hearing a track or two off of Dan Auerbach’s Keep It Hid I knew it was not anything Black Keys but still was not completely sure what was going to happen.
The sounds Dan Auerbach and crew put forth reminded me of early rock at it’s finest with a jam feel at times. Each member on the stage had their own specialty to make the live performance even more interesting. Guitar solos, dual vocals, and smiles ear to ear by the performers just added to the good time being had by all. I got a huge kick out of the duel drumming and especially seeing Patrick Hallahan from My Morning Jacket do his thing moving from drum set to congo and maraca and even beating upon a giant triangle. Rocking out until after midnight the band continued to electrify. I can not tell you what songs they played as I still have yet to pick up the CD but I can tell you Keep It Hid is on my “to buy” list.
It was an excellent night for new music to hit my ears thanks to all three acts playing on stage. I became a bigger fan of Those Darlins as well as gotten a good taste of what Dan Auerbach’s solo material sounds like backed with a full band. Spite the sold out crowd it was a great evening and I know I was not the only one who enjoyed it. If these three acts happen to come your way and you are looking for a night of fun and music do yourself a favor and grab a ticket before it sells out.
The tour continues for just a few more dates. Catch them if you can!
March 5 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Ballroom
March 6 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
March 7 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
March 10 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
March 11 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
March 13 – San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo’s
March 14 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey Theatre
Before I even begin this blog, props need to go to my good pal Matt at Addicted To Vinyl for his assistance in helping me through rather vulgar texts on some mp3 help… Thanks jerk.
I had one of those days today. It was a bad day at work. It was just too much for me and I really wish I had a special remote control to help fast forward through all the BS. Unfortunately I do not so I had to go through my work day at a regular speed hating stressful moments.
Finally getting home I just needed some chill time and what better way to do that than to geek out on the laptop. I checked my emails and one in particular grabbed my attention. It was an email inviting me to check out a band called Those Darlins who are currently touring with Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys). Having never heard of them and being a huge Black Keys fan I decided it could not hurt to listen to the attached MP3.
What I heard completely changed my entire day and I am not just saying that. After hearing the song “Wild One” I just felt better. It was a fun folky honest song of sorts and something I really needed to brighten up my day.
So who are these three darlins I speak of? Those Darlins are a folk/country/indie/punk/appalachian/blue grass (hope I did not miss anything) band featuring Kelley Darlin on bass, Jessi Darlin, on guitar, and Nikki Darlin on, get this, baritone ukulele. Awesome.
The trio currently resides in the college town of Murfreesboro, TN a city that rests somewhere between the country capital of the world Nashville and the Woodstock replacing town of Manchester, the city Bonnaroo is held in. Taking their love of playing music and love for a variety of bands of all genres Those Darlins created their own style of music and released the sassy Wild One EP.
Before I even continue you should just click on the link for the song and listen to it for yourself…
With one song not enough of a sample I headed to their MySpace page to check out a few more tracks. The vocals on some of the tunes reminded me of a female version of Hank III as well as a twangy Jenny Lewis or even Zooey Deschanel. The music is classic at times and all around enjoyable.
I have a feeling these three cuties and their mustache sporting drummer really will be going places with their unique and chipper sound. To make things even better, I just found out that Those Darlins are coming to the Beachland Ballroom next week. I have to go see them in person and I think I will. Look for an update next week.
-To pick up the EP for just $5.00, or to purchase some of their self-made merchandise visit their site at: