Monday, March 23, 2009

Dan Auerbach, Hacienda, And Those Darlins Played Bimbo's - Review, Pictures

Last week, we stopped in at Bimbo's to catch a triple bill of Dan Auerbach, Hacienda, and Those Darlins. It proved to be a true triple bill in every sense of the word. The three bands combined to deliver a night of classic-tinged American rock and roll that definitely did not disappoint. What's more, the bill offered up full-on collaboration, with the bands joining in on each other's sets, and Hacienda playing backup for Auerbach's entire set.

Those Darlins started off the night with a rollicking set of country-rock. The girls were impressive, not only in their songwriting and performance, but also in their technical skill. They swapped instruments throughout the set, and each took her turn in the lead role of the group. What's more, their formidable performance managed to rope in an enthused crowd. They were far more attentive than any audience we've seen in quite a while.

Hacienda quickly followed up with an energetic set that felt like it was straight out of 1970's California. Put differently, it reminded us strongly of Being There era Wilco, minus Tweedy's droll delivery and lyrical wit. While the band wasn't exactly to our taste, we have to admit it was one of the tightest sets we've seen in a long time. Their instrumentation was dead solid, and they delivered their tunes with their hearts on their sleeve.

Given the tightness of Hacienda's playing, it shouldn't have really come as a surprise that the band returned to back Dan Auerbach. Auerbach's set had all the technique of Hacienda's, with the added bonus of Auerbach's blues guitar stylings, and a ton of exquisite lighting to boot. He delivered an unquestionably solid set of tunes from his solo record, but they seemed to lose a bit of their depth in the live environment. At the end of the day, it almost seemed as though the band (and Auerbach's) collective technical aptitude led to the songs being cleaned up and more uniform in their delivery.

As we headed home, the set left us a bit torn: on the one hand, all the bands were incredibly solid, and the show was unquestionably fun. Still, we had been expecting a set that departed a bit more from the Black Keys' material, and focused more on Auerbach's songwriting. Instead, we got a set that leaned strongly upon the players' blues, rock, and country backgrounds. Really, that's not a bad thing, just not necessarily what we expected. The fact of the matter is that if you're looking to catch a fantastic bluesy rock show, this is about as good as you're going to get.

Many more pictures at the HAD Archive