Mickey Darling, an indie pop group from Texas’ performance last week was definitely not a “Pity Party,” as one of his song titles suggests, with the wild jumping and singing along by audience at The Echo in Los Angeles last Friday.
After waiting in a long line, I got into The Echo, a small, quaint, historical venue in Los Angeles. It’s popular for introducing smaller musical groups to wider audiences. Entry took about 20 minutes and was as organized as one would expect when teenagers are involved.
The venue was packed with mullets, Doc Martens, mustaches, Converse, pastel colors, curtain bangs, cuffed jeans and khakis.
Hues of purple and green lights highlighted the stage and the opening act introduced themselves as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis receiving a hearty chuckle that reverberated throughout the small venue. Because of course, it was not the world-renowned rap duo that was performing, it was Benny the Ghost, a small indie artist. He announced that later to anyone who still remained confused. He sang his song “Supersonic” and with the poppy beat and thunderous applause the crowd was more than able to keep the energy alive and well. I could not agree any more with his Spotify bio that described his music as “indie-poppy goodness,” because every song sung was catchy and had that classic jangly guitar that defines the genre.
He covered classics including “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” by the 1980s New Wave group Tears for Fears and “Fireflies” by Owl City, a 2010s indie solo outfit. There was not a silent soul in both of those songs. The synthesizers in both songs actually felt like fireflies were just flashing about because of the bright and high-pitched repeated sounds that were present. The disco ball that hung right above my head made that feeling materialize even more so with the room being filled with dots of spinning lights all across.
Though Benny The Ghost’s set must have been about 45 minutes it felt shorter than that because at that point it felt like I had come to The Echo to see Benny and not Mickey Darling. His stage presence was humorous and definitely that of an entertainer willing to interact with fans.
Mickey Darling came on stage and introduced the band. The band consists of Skyler Molina, lead singer and guitarist, and Austin Medrano, a multi-instrumentalist who performed bass that night.
Mickey Darling opened with its song, “Feed My Ego.” The song started with a voice mail recording of a woman’s slurred voice and soon thereafter a jangly and dreamy guitar riff followed after. The studio version of this song seems very relaxed and slow, but in person, people were immediately clapping and singing or more accurately screaming their lungs out. It was definitely a great way to start a set.
With lyrics made up of cheesy heartbreak feelings and silly romantic ideas, this band was not meant to be taken too seriously, but instead, voice out a young adult’s thoughts in a relationship. The band’s playful demeanor shined through especially in the way in which they conversed with the audience. Mickey Darling self-proclaimed itself to be the “sexiest boy band alive,” and this really shows what its personality was like on stage.
Unfortunately, Molina’s voice gave out before the concert and he explained that that had never happened to him before, especially on the day of a show. So throughout the show, he was seen chugging honey out of a little plastic bear container. He remained faithful to the crowd however and remained singing for the rest of his set, up until the last song that was written on the band’s setlist.
Molina jumped into the crowd when he began singing “Wallow’s Song” and began to dance with his fans like they were jolly old pals being reunited. It was definitely an intimate concert that felt like a get-together with old friends all there to see the same pair of guys.
Mickey Darling left the stage but not before leaving the audience with one last note. Molina said sometimes things can be scary but fear brings everyone together and to just not be afraid of going the unorthodox route because they are a representation of that and to follow your dreams.
“It’s so pretentious of me to say this as I stand on stage…but seriously we are just literally two boys from Texas making music in our bedrooms,” Molina said. “We completely stayed independent, didn’t sign to anybody to show everybody that you can do anything.”
It was a lively experience overall and with that motivational speech at the end, a night’s sleep filled with dreams was only to be expected. Mickey Darling will perform a sold-out show on Oct. 5. at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana.
Liliana Castañeda can be reached at email@example.com.
Liliana Castañeda, a senior communications major, is the Fall 2022 news editor of the Campus Times. She has previously served as editorial director, arts editor, copy editor and a staff writer.