Those Darlins – Beachland Tavern – Cleveland, OH – 07/14/09 – Concert Review

For the third time this year Nashville’s trio of vixens also known as Those Darlins returned to Cleveland. The trio recently released their debut album on their very own Oh Wow Dang records and the girls decided it would be best to celebrate via touring the states. Having just played the Beachland Ballroom as an opening act a few months ago, the girls were headlining their own show this time at the cozy little Beachland Tavern.

I really did not catch the two opening band’s names nor do I care to know them for future reference. The first band of the night with the canine name really had this cool young Stooges feel at times but to be honest, they needed to practice more. People do not pay money for shows to watch two plus attempts at starting a song let alone see the signer get angry with the snickering crowd because of the mishap. Simmer down tight jean wearing lead singer lad; practice makes perfect, anyone can tell you that.

The second band was just too much for me. Imagine a lead signer you think might have a signing voice like Chris Martin only to be shocked by vocals that resemble more Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) meets Ween. There was a small crowd checking them out and I was not one of them. The music was not bad but adding that creepy helium singing over it just ruined it.

Ed. Note: Now normally I try not to bash bands too much while performing (blatant lie of course), but it’s kind of hard not to when your good buddy and music critic Matt is sitting next to you.  I won’t post anything we “Tweeted” that night but feel free to try and find the few that we did post while sitting through that torture.

Luckily Those Darlins were up next so unlike someone I know, I stayed for their set. After all it was the whole reason I was at the tavern. I sure as hell was not there to see the two opening bands…

With a slow start into their set Those Darlins played as the crowd stood motionless almost like Lake Erie zombies but soon everyone mellowed out after a few songs and drinks. The threesome of ladies played their all too familiar boot-stomping fun country-rock and by the looks of all the nodding heads in the tavern I was not the only one enjoying it.

Smiles were all over the faces of Those Darlins as they played quite a few tracks off of their debut album including “222”, Wild One”, and to comical “Whole Damn Thing”. For the first time since I have seen them live they jumped off the stage for a moment to interact with the crowd and at one time Kelly Darlin almost leveled my friend to the ground as she dove towards him with bass in hnd. Nikki Darlin even took the mic to the floor and danced with one lucky gentleman as she sang.  Fan interaction is always a good thing.

There’s a reason why I have seen these ladies live so many times. Is it because they are good looking? Perhaps. Is it because I really get a kick out of their style? Indeed.

There’s just something so addictive about their blend of music that just captured me the first time I heard it. Since then I am sure many of you readers know I became almost fanatical with them. I joked with Kelly Darlin after the show that night that I was a “Darlin Junkie” and she laughed but understood my gratitude for her and her band.

If you have not checked out the band yet do me a favor and at least hit up their MySpace page and sample some of their songs. You might be surprised, as I was, and might like them. Punk rock attitude, drinking dames, and country music fortitude; does it seriously get any better than this???

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