Local Knoxville rock band Electric Darling played to a nearly sold-out venue Friday. I was able to catch the band alongside two other groups at one of Knoxville’s favorite watering holes: Scruffy City Music Hall.
The shows began at 10 p.m. with opening band The White Liars. They put on a killer show, which eventually played out into just two members performing for a few songs. The gritty, soulful sound of the band paired well with booming vocals and melting, sliding guitar riffs.
After the opener, Electric Darling soon took the stage. Formed by guitarists Cozmo Holloway and Kevin Hyfantis of The Dirty Guv'nahs, the band brings a unique blend of soul with classic rock-n-roll. The 6-member band filled the venue’s small stage.
The band played a variety of songs, ranging from off their latest album to some classic covers. They sounded tight, and I was impressed by the sound quality. I wish that the vocals were louder so that the newest lead-singer of the band Sarah Phillips could stand out more.
My favorite part of the show was watching Holloway shred out blue's licks with high energy and ferocity.
There honestly wasn’t any real negative moments for the entire show, but some lyrics during the cover of the Beatles’ “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” were completely forgotten. Phillips continued to scream out the chorus as the rest of the group made side glances and chuckles.
Overall, the band did a fantastic high-energy show and were able to get the people in the audience dancing and moving for the entire set.
Up next was local alternative rock band Gamenight to close off for the night. Of the three bands I saw, Gamenight is the one name that I kept hearing the most. The band was supposed to be the opener but was moved to playing last. The music was good, and the slow, somewhat dreamlike tone of the guitars helped create the band’s laid back attitude.
After the show, I made my way next door to Scruffy City’s sister bar, Preservation Pub, to catch the band playing there. Playing for the night was local classic rock band Badlands. Fronted by Dave Campbell and others from their other band, The Dead Ringers, were able to take classic covers and make it their own.
Badlands opened up with a heavy cover of Neil Young’s classic song “Ohio”. Even though the band only played covers, they had perhaps the most energetic audience of the night.
All the bands were really good, and it just goes to show why Scruffy City Music Hall and Preservation Pub are two of the best venues for local bands in Knoxville.