Saw The Darkness this weekend, as part of a mini-festival in Stockholm. One of my favourite bands, and probably the last on that list I hadn't seen live before (of the currently active ones). Awesome performance from the band, but sadly half the audience weren't there for them and left before or during their performance (they headlined). They struggled with the sound first couple of songs, with vocals a bit low in the mix, something which was acknowledged by the band and led to pauses which were drawn out as long as possible while the crew tried to fix it, but when they finally fixed it they sounded awesome. Except for a decent amount of loyal die-hard fans, the rest of the audience ranged from bored to outright hostile though, which surprised me considering that they headlined. The very provocative and just plain weird talks by Justin Hawkins didn't exactly help things. I have literally never experienced such a tension between band and audience before - the fans loved it, but the non-fans... Setlist contained the whole of their debut Permission to Land bar one song, and a couple of songs from the other albums. Got to hear favourite "Barbarian" from the latest one so I can't complain. Other bands were The Hooters (amazing), Helix (very bland) and an allstar tribute band consisting of Ian Haugland and Mic Michaeli from Europe, Rob Marcello from Danger Danger and Pontus Norgren from Hammerfall among others - with guests including John Norum and Mikkey Dee. The theme of the night for this lot was "how much can you screw up?" Norgren, a well regarded guitarplayer otherwise, stood for basically a whole song pretending to play. (Didn't bother rehearsing and making sure your sound fit with the rest, did you?) Ian Haugland, a drummer, stood for the best vocal performance during "Ace of Spades" while Mikkey Dee took over the drums, which says something about the level of the vocal performance from a non-introduced singer I didn't recognize. Rob Marcello was obviously far above his colleague on the other side of the stage, and remained professional but in terms of impact, John Norum made the biggest difference (no matter if Haugland or Dee were behind the drumkit).