SXSW 2017 was different in the way that many of the acts announced did not peak my interested until I heard about Darkest Hour headlining what was called South by South Death. The heavy metal band from Washington, D.C. has been around since the mid-90’s working non-stop touring and writing music. I typically watch the entire show but with this being SXSW. I had been running venue to venue catching my assignments just on time. From the looks of the line up it was a night full of heavy metal. I made it just in time to catch end of Ringworm’s set just before Darkest Hour was to take over the stage. As usual a handful of folks were outside smoking cigarettes and talking about SXSW. As I make my way through them I discover they are actually in line waiting to get in. There had been a queue since doors opened which means it’s going to be a fun night. Grizzly Hall does not have your standard barricade so that means I thrown down in the pit camera and all getting the shots I need. (Truthfully, I stick to the edges of the circle pit and randomly taking my chances standing in the middle for a few shots. It pays to be 6ft+ tall with a gnarly beard. People can find that intimidating although I’m a teddy bear in real life.) If you have never been to Grizzly Hall let me inform you that their sound system is pretty damn good. Heavy bands sound loud yet clear. Little to no distortion, crackling, etc. As you can imagine this helps you feel immersed with the band in such an intimate experience due to the type of venue and its sound system. One last thing I want to mention that I appreciate is the distance the venue has from the rest of SXSW. This means manageable traffic, actual parking, and even has their own pizza join on site. Hoek Death Metal Pizza Food Truck right outside the venue for all your sustenance needs in between sets. I like to think one of the main reasons artists dig the venue is the catering, just saying! Enough about all. You are eager to read how Darkest Hour kicked ass that night, right? Well do me a favor. Blast “Knife in the Safe Room” from their latest release Godless Prophets and the Migrant Flora as loud as you can. You will feel compelled to run in circles kicking and punching everything in sight. That’s how they started the night in a chaotic explosion of distortion that turned the room into a riot fest. As you go over the photo gallery make sure you keep blasting Darkest Hour through your speakers, headphones, whatever. As long as you are listening to them in one form or another.
[ P H O T O G A L L E R Y ]
Photographs taken on March 16th, 2017 at Grizzly Hall in Austin, Texas
Disclaimer: All photographs are copyright Clark Terrell Photography and cannot be used/cropped/printed without the consent of the owner.
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