Big Sound, Big Vocals, Big Stage — The Wet Darlings Flirt with the Newport Music Hall
Friday’s Wet Darlings show was one of special note.
Not only was it Friday the 13th Ã¢â‚¬â€œ the day Sean S. Cunningham and Dan Brown turned into pay dirt. Not only did it mark The Wet Darlings’ first (of many) occasions to play the gig-steppingstone Newport Music Hall. The special note was for the Columbus faithful who have been caravanning around the region for the past two years in support of the WDs.
You’re dedication paid off. In what could be considered the band’s biggest show yet, the Wet Darlings played like ravenous pros who have become musically mature enough to know when to accent a soft melody with a gentle kiss of gusto and when to slam the foot on the gas and blow out the windows with heavy overdrive and monster vocal chops.
Armed with a few sonic tricks up their collective sleeves, The Wet Darlings used the Newport as a crash course tutorial on where the band was and where they’re inevitably bound to go. Playing equal parts of last years’ X and the recent So Long, Lover EP, the band looked right at home on the big stage from the first note of opener “Vampires” to the soft, languid ring out of closer “Bicycle.” The track “Big Ups,” currently the most requested song on radio station CD101, sounded fit for stadiums and mass consumption alike.
Lead singer Jenny Lute’s signature delicate-meets-ferocious vocals were as tremendous as ever and bassist Joe Patterson’s playing provided the oomph that carried The Wet Darlings over the edge. However, it’s chief Darling Bill Patterson’s progression as a songwriter that has unquestionably afforded the band their much deserved Newport gig. The major beneficiary of the spotlight Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and sound system Ã¢â‚¬â€œwas Aaron Bishara who has calmly become a percussion tour de force.
The highlight of the night was a supercharged duet of The Beatles’ “Oh! Darling” featuring Lute and the amazing, underappreciated Josh Krajcik (of the aptly named Josh Krajcik Band) waxing vocal aptitudes.
The interesting Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and scary Ã¢â‚¬â€œ thing about The Wet Darlings is how accessible they are. They could be heard on any radio station, in any car, and play myriad venues. They are positioning themselves to follow recent Columbus greats such as Blueprint, O.A.R., Sinkane, and Six Gallery to ink a deal and hit the road. The misnomer is that their angsty bubblegum lyrics and girl next door innocence would be eaten alive by the crumbling music industry. That’s just their persona. They’re ready. They proved it, strangely enough, on Friday the 13th.
This review was written by Josh Fitzwater and brought to you by the Franklin University Plaza at the LC Pavilion. For more information about shows that Josh and the Franklin crew will be attending and for chances to win tickets to concerts all year long, visit us on Facebook. Photography provided by Kevin James of Red Generation Photogrpahy and Lisa Ragland.