Review: The Darts Hit The Bullseye at the Wayfarer




The Darts by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com
The Darts by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

The Darts Rip it Up

By CRAIG HAMMONS

All-girl group The Darts had a rip-roaring Rock and Roll weekend with three shows in just over 24 hours.  They opened the weekend of with a 4 PM show on Saturday at Gnar Burger Records and then they crossed the Orange County line to perform that evening at the Wayfarer in Costa Mesa.  But there is no rest for these ladies at they were up early the next morning and ready to rock for their worldwide web performance on Stagit.com.

The Darts are touring in support for their new full length album Me.Ow on London’s Dirty Warter Records.  After a brief spin thru the USA they are off to Europe and Japan later this year.

The Darts - Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com
The Darts – Photo by Craig Hammons for CaliforniaRocker.com

OC Hurricanes Opened

The Darts brought along their friends OC Hurricanes as their opening act.  I was pleasantly surprised how good these cats really were.  They play 60’s blues rock with a Link Wray surfabilly sound.  They are stage tight and well trained musicians who you can tell are in love with their craft.   Lead guitar and vocalist Roach Sanchez knows how to work a room and get everyone’s attention.

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It was a rock and roll party from the first riff to the last beat.  By the end of the set Roach was in the audience with his guitar followed by the keyboard player who took his whole keyboard with him.  The crowd was dancing and singing around them like they were all crazy natives having a freak out.  Check out OC Hurricanes when you have a chance.  They will knock you out.

The Women of The Darts

The Darts are led by the mighty and magnificent Nicole Laurenne on Farfisa organ.  I was already familiar with her from her previous bands (Love Me Knots, Zero Zero and Motobunny).   But with The Darts she has found her calling and is leading this pack of wild women to bring their style of garage, fuzz rock and roll to the people.  Opening with the song “Running Through Your Lies” written by their guitarist extraordinaire Michelle Balderrama.  It packs a heavy bass riff and got things off to a powerful start.

The Darts know what they want and they get it.  Nicole’s Farfisa’s Fast 3 is more than just her instrument but it’s her lover and ragdoll.  She attacks it, loves it and makes it beg for mercy.  She captures the sound of an era when the Castaways and Mark and the Mysterians were ruling the airwaves.

The Darts’ New Album ‘Me.Ow’

They played most of their new album Me.Ow with standout tracks like “My Heart is a Graveyard” and “Get Messy.”  It was obvious that these four ladies were hell bent on kicking out the jams and delivering a memorable night of fun and rock and roll.  Nicole’s BFF from the Love Me Nots Christina Nunez layer down thundering bass riffs while Rikki Styxx steady drum beats held it all together.

The Darts have nowhere to go but up the ladder to worldwide success.  Their songs are solid and their live show is electrifying.  Nicole dressed in a corset, black leather and spiked heeled boots seizes the audience with her aggressive in your face style.  She uses her songs as her weapon to put us all under house arrest.

the Darts

 

The Darts Waste No Time on Stage

The set seemed to fly by as they didn’t waste any time between songs and were here to keep our ass shaking and feet moving.   Michelle then let loose on the trippy song “Gonna Make You Love” where she just went off in the zone showcasing her talent on the fret board.  Nicole then went all Keith Emerson on us by pulling her keyboard down on top of her during “Slay Me.”  She is a live wire and a woman on a mission to seek and destroy as she prowls the stage dragging her keyboard around like a submissive little creature.  She controls it and dominates it all the time while never missing a note.

They ended the set showing off their punk influence with their anthem, a cover of a song by The Trashwomen called “Batteries” with the lyrics “who needs boys when you got batteries.”   They played tonight with abandon passion and feeling.  I was fuzzed out, rocked out and happy.  The Darts are good girls gone bad.  But when they are good, they are very good, but when they are bad they are better.