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Concert review: Quaker City Night Hawks, Somebody's Darling, and Goodnight Ned

The most recent installment of Red Bull Sound Select's Dallas concert series hit Three Links in Deep Ellum last Thursday, May 22 and featured local acts Quaker City Night Hawks, Somebody's Darling, and Goodnight Ned. The night was filled with arm wrestling, alcohol, and, oh yeah, plenty of bone-shaking, hear-felt, Texas Blues-Rock.

Goodnight Ned
Joseph Noga
Sam and Patrick of Quaker City Night Hawks
Joseph Noga

Going to local shows can sometimes be a bit like Russian roulette, but this particular show hit the sweet spot from start to finish. The headliner of the night, Quaker City Night Hawks, were set to go on at midnight, but Three Links was rowdy starting at 8 PM. There was a cascading screen showing GIF's taken in by the photo booth, a night-long arm wrestling competition, and plenty of general tomfoolery to be had. On a side note, I have never seen so many men shamed by women in a contest of arm wrestling. It was amazing.

Goodnight Ned kicked off the night in full swagger with layers of delicious harmonies and hearty guitar riffs. There was a moment, when I looked around and wondered how these guys were the opening act. Their stage presence and teen-like energy cut through the crowd in what was a tremendous set. They might not be the Black Keys, but they might as well have been. They played like Three Links was the main stage at Coachella. It was a beautiful thing to witness.

The sweet sultry songstress vibe of Somebody's Darling was a great next step in the evening. Somebody's Darling has been on the up-and-up in the Dallas music scene for some time now and I was happy to finally see them perform live. They didn't disappoint. The lead singer, Amber Farris, has quite the voice and the band was tight. The dynamic growl of Amber's voice made for several goose-bump filled moments. The blues was strong with Somebody's Darling. Beautiful keyboard ambience, quick fingers on the fretboards, and Amber's long locks of wavy blonde hair thrashing to the beat were a few key secondary features of the set. Their musical prowess was undeniable.

Though, the highlight of the night was hands-down Quaker City Night Hawks taking the stage. They are one of the best rock bands currently based of North Texas. Their dynamic is very unique. The drummer was going a million miles a minute the entire set while Sam, the cool and calm front man, and Patrick, the bearded zen master bassist, were holding down some very thick and melodic grooves up at the front of the stage. I had the opportunity to interview them, as well as the other two opening acts in the featured video. They were all around great guys and their music was the perfect reflection of their fun and friendly demeanor. The house was packed out to see the Quaker City Night Hawks rip through songs both old and new. The ostinato of the drums and the ambient harmonic buzz of the guitars sent me to trance filled place I wasn't sure Rock 'n Roll could still take me to. All in all, Red Bull Sound Select put on what was one of the most memorable shows I've been to recently. It was a good night.