Where: Snug Harbor- Charlotte, NC
When: January 21, 2011
I can’t tell you how impressed I have been with the concert lineup in Charlotte this spring. We are certainly not known for our burgeoning music scene, and I often have to travel to either Raleigh or Atlanta to catch the really good shows, but it feels like the tide might be changing for my little big city.
My first concert of the New Year was Those Darlins who played a sold out show at Charlotte’s token indie bar, Snug Harbor. And as far as booking goes, the band couldn’t have picked a more perfect place to rock-and-roll in the Queen City.
As it sometimes happens, opening acts are better than the headliners. The headliners in this case were a great band, but opening act Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent seemed to stun the hipster crowd with their twangy sound.
If you married the smoky, raspy voice of Loretta Lynn with the soulful voice of anyone in Motown, you would have the powerhouse voice of Cary Ann Hearst. What this little lady lacks in height she makes up for big time in sound and presence. Michael Trent was a pleasant addition, but Ms. Hearst could have sung names out of the phone book, and brought down the house on her own merits.
If Cary Ann Hearst was ice cream Sunday of the night, then Those Darlins were the cherry on top. They were just what you would expect from their album: loud, tatted up, and absolutely gorgeous. With their mix of Rockabiliy and 60’s pop, this all girl band ripped Snug Harbor a new one.
I have mentioned this before about Snug Harbor, but it doesn’t hurt to mention again, the sound quality at the venue is pitiful. It was sort of fun when I saw Japandroids there because it added to their garage band feel. With Those Darlins though, I really thought it was a hindrance to their show. You couldn’t hear the lyrics very clearly and the sound guy had cranked the guitar amps up way too high. Luckily those ladies were bad ass enough to still make the show fun.
I was stuck at the back of the bar, so I didn’t get any of my own video footage, but here are some videos of both Cary Ann Hearst and Those Darlins. It’s worth the listen.
Cary Ann Heart- Hell’s Bells
Those Darlins- Red Light Love