April 8, 2004
The Tabernacle - Atlanta


The Wild Hearts:

cs-TheWildHearts1-Atlanta4804.JPG (44100 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts2-Atlanta4804.JPG (27935 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts3-Atlanta4804.JPG (26096 bytes)

cs-TheWildHearts4-Atlanta4804.JPG (55565 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts5-Atlanta4804.JPG (24266 bytes)

cs-TheWildHearts8-Atlanta4804.JPG (43367 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts9-Atlanta4804.JPG (25855 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts10-Atlanta4804.JPG (28636 bytes)

cs-TheWildHearts11-Atlanta4804.JPG (43898 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts13-Atlanta4804.JPG (48534 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts12-Atlanta4804.JPG (33022 bytes)

Songs like “Every Night Is A Brand New Day” and “Six Feet Under” started out like OzzFest standards but would inevitably give way to catchy, shout along choruses. This simple formula worked well and set up the night beautifully for the new rock Gods.


cs-TheWildHearts7-Atlanta4804.JPG (74180 bytes)

cs-TheWildHearts17-Atlanta4804.JPG (69431 bytes)

The Wild Hearts straddle a line between Motorhead and The Bay City Rollers. Like a biker version of The Darkness, The Hearts came out swinging for a fast paced opening show that rivaled the energy of the headliners.

cs-TheWildHearts6-Atlanta4804.JPG (51391 bytes)

cs-TheWildHearts16-Atlanta4804.JPG (42525 bytes) cs-TheWildHearts15-Atlanta4804.JPG (47247 bytes)



That’s what The Darkness are, you know? They are the new kings of rock - unapologetic, ridiculous and fun as hell. After opening with a bludgeoning double shot of “Bareback” and “Black Shuck,” the madness just got madder. A surprisingly diverse audience from 10 to 50 years old shouted back every word. The Darkness lifted all the right moments from rock history. Queen was channeled during the solo for the heroin ode “Giving Up,” the spirit of 1,000 lighter waving power ballads haunted the room for “Love Is Only A Feeling” and the ghost of Thin Lizzy never left. AC / DC was represented with the “Thunderstruck” lick of “Making Out” and Justin Hawkins’ audience ride on the shoulders of security. During the ride, he teased the crowd with Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” which wasn’t as random a riff as it may have seemed. You see, Steven Tyler and Tom Hamilton were actually in the crowd soaking the new boys in from their “royal box” balcony seats. That’s not all, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielson and Bun E. Carlos were spotted bopping along to “Growing On Me.” This was an unprecedented rock and roll event and it was immediately clear why this show sold out in 9 minutes flat. This is one of those rare instances where buzz and the every man meet. Just the “wardrobe malfunction” that caused Hawkins’ to stuff a tiny Union Jack down the crotch of his broken zippered metallic gold and red jumpsuit during “Friday Night” was something I’ll never forget.  The only thing more disturbingly laughable was the way the crowd dived for this sweaty souvenir when he tossed it.



The Darkness:

cs-TheDarkness1-Atlanta4804.JPG (59603 bytes) cs-TheDarkness2-Atlanta4804.JPG (25152 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness3-Atlanta4804.JPG (74302 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness4-Atlanta4804.JPG (34599 bytes) cs-TheDarkness5-Atlanta4804.JPG (43844 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness6-Atlanta4804.JPG (44045 bytes) cs-TheDarkness7-Atlanta4804.JPG (28259 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness9-Atlanta4804.JPG (53655 bytes) cs-TheDarkness10-Atlanta4804.JPG (32578 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness11-Atlanta4804.JPG (52002 bytes) cs-TheDarkness12-Atlanta4804.JPG (34819 bytes) cs-TheDarkness13-Atlanta4804.JPG (42869 bytes)

Highlights were plenty. I think I’d have to go with the audience participation heavy “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” which caused the entire Tabernacle to literally shake with excitement. The performer and his rabid followers nailed every shrill high note. Justin Hawkins played the crowd as well as his guitar, maybe better. To see him leading them during the closing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was to see a master at the top of his game. For an encore, The Darkness pushed it all even further with the brilliantly titled (and volume to eleven) stomp “Love On The Rocks With No Ice.” Every face I saw in The Tabernacle had a mile wide smile. Whether they were enjoying it ironically or (more likely) just rocking unencumbered – this was a great time. This could be the best rock and roll show of the year. If they flash in the Vanilla Ice pan and disappear by ‘05, it doesn’t matter. Tonight, The Darkness were Gods. Personally, I’m pulling for them to surprise everyone and last.

(Chris McKay /

cs-TheDarkness14-Atlanta4804.JPG (43899 bytes) cs-TheDarkness15-Atlanta4804.JPG (34646 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness16-Atlanta4804.JPG (58531 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness17-Atlanta4804.JPG (112790 bytes) cs-TheDarkness18-Atlanta4804.JPG (60856 bytes)

cs-TheDarkness19-Atlanta4804.JPG (66462 bytes)