The Darkness: Stubb's, April 13

Live Shot

Justin Hawkins
Justin Hawkins (Photo By Gary Miller)

The Darkness

Stubb's, April 13 Verily, some scoffed at the Darkness' over-the-top Stubb's show, likening it to Monty Python as heavy metal. Yet the overwhelming force of their 75-minute assault, and their steadfast belief in a thing called love, quieted even the staunchest naysayers and roused the spirits of 1,600 faithful Central Texans who were, in a word, ready to rock. And it was good. From the opening notes of the instrumental prelude, which cast a lilting bagpipe melody atop some custom, AC/DC, back-alley grind, there were no pretensions, no airs, no aspirations to high art. Voxman Justin Hawkins lost his shirt before ever screeching a word. Brother Dan, outfitted in a Thin Lizzy T-shirt that spoke volumes, was two guitar solos deep before even warming up. They came from London, via Norfolk, requesting Permission to Land, and it was granted. Landing ass-deep in some nasty Powerage gnarl, they taxied to the purple-hued loading zone of soon-to-be anthem "Growing on Me" (genital warts never seemed this sexy in health class). Acknowledging their surroundings with shout-outs to Maggie Mae's – site of their SXSW 02 stateside debut – the Jolly Garogers, and Lone Star beer, their completely mapped-out yet irresistible style ushered in "power ballad time!" before moving on to dirty Zeppelin blues. Teaching a receptive 13-year-old how to cuss, Hawkins revealed that Texas' favorite curse word is indeed "fuck" ("What about 'cunt'?" wondered the frontman). Sealing the deal with a lights-out encore of "Givin' Up" and "Love on the Rocks With No Ice" that, if not quite reaching the leather-clad heights of classic-rock ecstasy, came damn close. Yes, perhaps they overstepped their bounds a bit by choosing a rock update of Dirty Dancing's "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" for exit music, but not by much.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Music Reviews
Top 10 Box Sets of 2018
Metallica
... And Justice For All (Deluxe) (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Dec. 7, 2018

Texas Platters
Portrayal of Guilt
Let Pain Be Your Guide (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Nov. 23, 2018

More by Christopher Gray
Margaret Moser Tribute: Alvin Crow
Alvin Crow
Summer camp with the kids

June 30, 2017

Margaret Moser Tribute: The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones
That Margaret Moser, she’s a rainbow

June 30, 2017

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle