Nashville will forever be synonymous with country music, but it has also become home to one of the best rock scenes in the country. Several big artists like Jack White, Kings Of Leon and Paramore call Music City home, but the city’s underground scene is packed with talent. Sunday night, Nashville bands Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet took the stage at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg to prove what all the hype is about.
Those Darlins and Diarrhea Planet at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Local act Desert Sharks was the first band to take the stage. Among a sea of Brooklyn garage-rock bands, these chicks are a refreshing change of pace. Where a lot of the band’s peers take the term “lo-fi” to new lows, Desert Sharks manages to strike a healthy balance between that aesthetic and audibly pleasing music. Clad in black, the band delivered a high-energy set full of punk rock ethos that set up nicely for the rest of the evening.
And then, it was time for Diarrhea Planet. Despite its name, this band is dead serious about making rock and roll music and slaying stages around the world. Combining hard-charging thrash punk with huge anthemic choruses, Diarrhea Planet’s music is meant to be played live and loud. The band boasts a robust lineup of drums, bass and four guitars. Yes, four guitars. In one band.
Still supporting 2013’s I’m Rich Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, most of the band’s set pulled from that album. The crowd was also treated to a couple brand new tracks and a few favorites from Loose Jewels. No song got a better response than “Ghost With A Boner.” Often cited as the first song the band ever wrote, this track has become Diarrhea Planet’s calling card.
At the end of the band’s set, frontman Jordan Davis challenged the crowd to break the world record for crowd surfs during one song–he decided that number was 15, but we cannot officially confirm. As the first chords of the song rang out, there were a handful full of people hoisting each other overhead. Soon after, a steady stream of stage divers joined the already crowded stage.
Though all four DP guitarists can shred, Brent Toler stole the show with his solo at the end of the set. Vaulting himself onto a handrail in front of the stage, Toler unleashed a vicious solo full of tapping and teeth picking–a perfect example of the band’s mantra, “Shred ’til you’re dead.”
The evening’s headliner, Those Darlins, had the dubious task of following their pals, Diarrhea Planet. Despite being a kick-ass rock band in its own right, it would be hard for anyone to match the energy and all-out debauchery of Diarrhea Planet’s set. As Those Darlins took the stage, the crowd had noticeably thinned out. It is shame, because those who left missed out on a solid set.
Those Darlins have a sound that is more indicative of its Nashville roots. Singer Jessi Zazu’s combination of snarl and southern drawl fits perfectly with the band’s alt-country infused brand of rock and roll. Much like the other bands on the bill that evening, Those Darlins have found a way to stand out among a crowded garage rock scene.
The band was playing in support of its most recent release, Blur the Line. It was decidedly a more subdued performance than what had preceded, but Zazu and fellow guitarist Nikki Kvarnes made a point to do a little shredding of their own. This was a perfect bill for anyone who loves a good guitar solo.
Though they proved to be a bit of an odd couple that night, Diarrhea Planet and Those Darlins are more than capable of carrying the torch for Nashville’s rock scene. The big hooks and even bigger guitar solos were enough to keep ears ringing for a few days, but the show was well worth it.
Article by Jason Schellhardt