Tuesday was “Garage Night” at the Larimer Lounge with acts Those Darlins and Heavy Cream. The two groups played sultry, savage Tennessee punk, both with their own unique flair. Though, it was clear that Those Darlins are in an awkward place, still adjusting to the loss of their original bassist, Kelly Darlin (Anderson), to solo project La Sera.
Those Darlins played indie tunes like “Wild One,” “Red Light Love,” “Mystic Mind” and their super hit “Be Your Bro” in a roughed-up style. The sweet three-part harmonies that anchored the songs on tours past were noticeably missing, but the effect wasn’t altogether negative. They also played a number of new tunes, including the bluesy “Pet You and Hold You,” with a definite air of experimentation of a band still adjusting to a new lineup. The end result was a clear step back to the garage, but refreshingly raw nonetheless.
With a wild set of straight-up Runaways-style punk rock swagger, Heavy Cream performed as a band moving in the opposite direction — meaning nothing but fury and buzz. Backed by drummer Tiffany Minton — a wicked-skilled, young Belinda Carlisle lookalike — the band immediately grabbed the largest crowd of the night and wrung them out. Vocalist Jessica McFarland looked like a younger, angrier (and way more lucid) Courtney Love, spitting lyrics like a Nashville John Lydon. Meanwhile, guitarist Mimi Galbierz pierced the crowd with sexy scowls. Watch out for this band — its live personality begs you to try and ignore them.
Locals, the Blue Rider, opened the night with a set of high-energy, psychedelic punk that lifted the venue to an appreciative frenzy. Their instrumental “The Inner Tube,” pure, ‘70s-Saturday-morning-cartoons fare, had most everyone howling at mid-set, as did a cover of the Fireflies’ “Stella’s Got A Fella.”