Whether it was because of his appearance two years ago in Gallivan Center or the benefits of a steady stream of play on KRCL, Black Joe Lewis drew many more fans to Thursday night's Urban Lounge concert with openers Those Darlins.
And he likely added a few as well.
Although Those Darlins have received multiple good reviews for their new release, "Screws Get Loose," and for their high-energy live show, they were largely met with indifference by most of the roughly 140 attendees for the band's 45-minute set, which hung back and waited patiently for the headliners. Although there were moments of inspired punk-infused rockabilly, the Darlins never really achieved or sustained an altitude of rock 'n' roll grandeur. Highlights included "Be Your Bro," "$" and the lone song they played from its self-titled debut, "Red Light Love." The four-piece Tennessee band is in the midst of a long nationwide trek and maybe Salt Lake's snow-frosted crowd just wasn't ready or vice versa. Here's hoping the Darlins return under more affable surroundings.
Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears had no trouble reaching any altitude. They started with swagger and verve and hit an early peak with an inspired reading of Robert Johnson's "Stop Breaking Down," and kept going through an energized take on "Broke" from the band's 2009 release, "Tell 'em What Your Name Is." The dancefloor completely filled up for the Honeybears set - unlike Those Darlins, when fans maintained a respectful 5-foot gap from the stage - and just got tighter and more intense as the music rolled past midnight. Multiple selections from their latest album, "Scandalous," were well-received by the sweaty crowd of dancers.
In short, Black Joe Lewis was able to deliver on the promise of his two albums and earned many new fans, sadly, Those Darlins can't say the same.