Live Review: Darlingside

Live Review: Darlingside

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The notion of going to a concert at a barn during my recent vacation was simply too good to pass up — and I’m glad I didn’t, because it was a hell of a show. Packed with at least a couple hundred revelers, many of whom were from the band’s alma mater, Williams College, the joint was jumping from the very start and the string rock quintet Darlingside did not disappoint.

Mixing in five-part harmonies with everything from folk to rock and ballads to all out rockers, Darlingside wowed the audience with two sets. They played most of the tracks from their debut release, EP1, with the crowd going appropriately nuts during the frenzied “All That Wrong,” being entranced by lead vocalist David Senft’s performance on “Surround” and singing along with the band as they performed the fan favorite “Good Man.” Some surprises made it into the sets as well, namely some new material that may end up on the band’s next full-length release, and a lively cover of Phoenix’s “Lisztomania,” which had the crowd dancing up a storm and throwing their fists (and drinks) in the air even when mandolinist/violinist Auyon Mukharji plucked away at his mandolin during the songs quieter parts.

The quintet fed off each other as much as they did from the crowd. From the opening moments when Mukharji mimicked the dance moves of a little girl who wandered up to the front of the stage to the group’s pseudo headbanging session during the breakdown portion of the track “Malea,” everything about the performance was laced with interconnectedness. Even when the band “went off stage” at the end and waited for a minute while the crowd looked right at them and chanted for an encore, you could tell that everyone in the barn — band members included — knew the whole thing was a bit amusing and loved every second of it.

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