Show Review & Photos: The Darkness @ the Showbox

The Darkness @ the Showbox, 4/3/17
~ Review & Photos by Dagmar

The Darkness‘ Justin Hawkins

In April, I got to see the Darkness for the third time! I missed their first visit in Seattle back in 2004 (I think it was 2004 – in any case it was their first visit here after Permission to Land‘s release). A high fever kept me home that night, but I’ve managed to see their three recent Seattle shows. The band is really, really, really not one to be missed. They’re high energy and put on a lusty show.

They’ve stayed a top favorite of mine since the debut of Permission to Land. I’d stick with this band through anything I love them that much. Other bands come and go in my music orbit, but the Darkness have stuck. When I saw them earlier this month at the Showbox, I was aware the British group has had time to be part of other fans’ lives, too. Sometimes it throws me when I am around other fans. But these fans? They were a happy bunch. I would expect the Darkness to have happy fans. A woman right behind me, during the show, actually let out a super loud, sexy moan. . . Just watching the group. So yes, they are a happy bunch.

It’s not only that the Darkness have fun with their songs and shows, it’s that they do it damned well. I get the feeling they’re taking what they do seriously, while, naturally making it look easy. Easy it isn’t, and the Darkness have this enormous bond together as a band, assuring fans the group are their own Gang. Likewise, their bond with fans was obvious. Engaging leopard suit-clad singer-guitarist Justin Hawkins actually talked to the audience between many songs, breaking the performer-audience barrier also with conversation. The band members were all perfection.

And the songs. . . check out that fabulous setlist, which you can see below. Top moments for me were “Barbarian,” “Solid Gold,” “Every Inch of You” (this was phenomenal) and “Get Your Hands off My Woman.” Every moment of the show honestly rocked. Now that they’ve made three albums since 2012, including last year’s Pinewood Smile, maybe we will even get to see them in Seattle again soon. If I began a rating system of five kisses, this show would be a xxxxx.

The Darkness


Open Fire – Last of Our Kind
Love Is Only a Feeling – Permission to Land
Black Shuck – Permission to Land
One Way Ticket – One Way Ticket to Hell. . . and Back
Givin’ Up – Permission to Land
All the Pretty Girls – Pinewood Smile
Barbarian – Last of Our Kind
Buccaneers of Hispaniola – Pinewood Smile
Friday Night – Permission to Land
Every Inch of You – Hot Cakes
Solid Gold – Pinewood Smile
Stuck in a Rut – Permission to Land
Get Your Hands off My Woman – Permission to Land
Growing on Me – Permission to Land

Japanese Prisoner of Love – Pinewood Smile
I Believe in a Thing Called Love – Permission to Land

More Photos of the Darkness @ the Showbox


Photos: HAIM @ WaMu Theater

HAIM – sisters Alana, Danielle and Este Haim (L-R) – played to a near-capacity crowd at the WaMu Theater. Backed by drums and keys, the rambunctious siblings are on the road in support of the sophomore release, Something to Tell You. Seattle was the second stop on their three-month Sister Sister Sister tour that includes North America and Europe. Minneapolis-based rapper Lizzo opened.




Photos: SXSW 2018 – Day 5

California-based performers dominated Day 5 of SXSW 2018 – Cam, Madison Malone and Pearl Charles – plus Raine Landry and Violetta Zorini from Louisiana and Italy respectively. Portraits of four of these five to follow.

Cam @ Trinity Warehouse / California / Official Showcase

Madison Malone @ Kebabalicious / California / Day Party

Raine Landry of Merci Raines @ Arlyn Studios / Louisiana / Day Party

Pearl Charles @ Lazarus Brewing / California / Day Party

Violetta Zironi @ Stephen F’s Bar / Italy / Official Showcase


Show Review & Photos: Explosions in the Sky @ the Showbox

Explosions in the Sky @ the Showbox, 9/22/17
Review by Meredith Smith
Photos by Alex Crick

Explosions in the Sky

Explosions in the Sky at the Showbox Takes Us to Church

Explosions in the Sky’s songs, silent but for noise, are stories, epic tales with rise and fall, the drumbeat a cascade of twinkling stars and melodies that take you there and back again. An Explosions in the Sky show is catharsis, it’s the big sky of Midland, TX, the hometown of Michael James, Munaf Rayani, and Mark Smith, where nothingness reaches nothingness from state line to state line. Surrounded by an endless prairie, it’s not difficult to imagine that the EITS crew garnered the bulk of their inspiration from the Milky Way and the mesquites. Audience members rock back and forth to a strong stage presence, one where you can’t quite decide if the band is playing the music or the music is playing the band. The vibe is more like church than a rock show – but you’d sure be fine if Sunday mornings were more like this.

The instrumental post-rock band – made famous for their contribution to the show Friday Night Lights, a drama about the seminal football scene in rural Texas – returned to touring this fall in support of their newest album, The Wilderness, their first full-length studio offering since 2011, out now on Temporary Resistance Limited.

Explosions in the Sky


Show Preview: ALVVAYS @ Neumos, Fri. 4/6

ALVVAYS @ Neumos, Fri. 4/6


Canadian pop quartet ALLVAYS headlines Neumos on Friday, April 6th. This is just the second time in Seattle that they’ve shared songs of their latest, Antisocialites. Led by such gorgeous vocals from Molly Rankin, the group creates massively rememberable tracks. Really really appealing stuff. “Dream Tonite” must be one of the best tracks of 2017, so definitely go and enjoy that live. It appears the show is sold out, but I always tell people to keep looking. Oh, and a nice detail on Rankin: she’s also an accomplished fiddle player!