The Darkness Show Review
By Harriet Kaplan
Emerging young rock bands can learn alot from The Darkness. Newcomers should probably take notes on how this U.K. supergroup works the stage with aplomb and panache. With no shortage in confidence and charisma, they simply blew away their enthusiastic, fanatic audience. At The Belasco Theater, the colorful band with a stadium-sized mentality, dealt in always big, always over-the-top gestures musically. If you think of every stock rock pose, and physical movement echoing past rock legends like David Bowie and Queen, The Darkness utilized those same classic moves and in addition to their own originals.
Ringleader/frontman/guitarist Justin Hawkins headed up this glorious circus of music and the capacity crowd was enthralled and mesmerized. They just couldn’t take their eyes off of him. Dressed in a 70s inspired pale blue suit with a bright red shirt, Hawkins struts and prances around and is in constant motion. He is fun, funny, dramatic and flamboyant. The chatty and gregarious vocalist, who sang in a flawless falsetto, loved to joke around and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Yet Hawkins is nobody’s fool and whip smart. He spoke to the crowd from the stage using their behavior or demeanor as examples to make hilarious comments or pointed commentary about being a touring musician and overcoming apathy and indifference on the road. Still, it was clear he was having the time of his life onstage and feeding off the high energy from the audience that knew every lyric to the eclectic catalog of The Darkness songs. The tour de force concert featured 15 numbers primarily from “Permission To Land,” “Hot Cakes,” and “Last Of Our Kind.” Brother Dan Hawkins is powerhouse lead guitar shredding potent riffs and he proudly wore an iconic Thin Lizzy t-shirt. The the oh-so cool Frankie Poullain sported his own vintage 70s getup and held down rock-solid bass lines and also played a mean cowbell. Drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor, provided explosive rhythms and a steady foundation for the band.
The Darkness’ most recognizable and biggest hit song “I Believe In This Thing Called Love,” which drew some of the loudest cheers of the set, came at the end of an exhilarating, sweat-soaked night of music. It was worth the wait to get there with an unforgettable show of fresh, brash and ballsy rock and roll.
Love Is Only A Feeling
English Country Garden
Get Your Hands Off
Stuck In A Rut
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Love On The Rocks
Photos by Heather Stockwell