British rockers THE DARKNESS is a band that seemingly has never been accused of taking themselves too seriously. When you take lyrics such as “Get Your Hands off My Woman Mother Fu*ker” and mix in some incredible musical talent, what you get sometimes is a band that simply appears to be having way too much fun on the stage, which in turn, can’t help but to rub off on the crowd in an infectious way. This is exactly what happened when THE DARKNESS invaded the Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas on March 30, just the second night into their new Tour De Prance 2018 tour!
Opening the night, Diarrhea Planet from Nashville set a frantic pace for the night with a stage chocked full of players - four guitar players to be exact, along with bassist and drummer for a crazy incredible show of energy and music. Their Facebook describes them as "like watching School of Rock for the first time, every time" and that really says it, Diarrhea Planet was a spinning ball of energy and flying hair when they blew through their supporting set.
But back to the DARKNESS... out on their Tour De Prance in support of the late 2017 release Pinewood Smile, we got to hear “All the Pretty Girls” from that CD, but for any die-hard DARKNESS fanatic, it all begins and ends with the ground breaking debut album Permission to Land. In true DARKNESS style, the band knows exactly how to give an audience exactly what they want. There were sprinklings of songs from other releases such as the title track to One Way Ticket to Hell and Back, but the setlist was chocked full of the staples from Permission to Land like like “Love is Only a Feeling”, “Black Shuck”, and “Growing on Me”.
It is great to see that THE DARKNESS still has three of the four original members from the Permission to Land era still in the line-up. Brothers Justin and Dan Hawkins man the vocals and guitar while Frankie Poullain remains on bass. Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums (son of Roger Taylor - yes, the Queen one) was the last piece added back in 2015.
When talking about any DARKNESS show, it always begins and ends with just how much fun and energy Justin Hawkins delivers to the crowd. Justin even managed to take a serious issue, explaining how is brother Dan was in pain tonight after spilling scalding hot water down his abdomen, into a running joke about the #metoo movement with hecklers in the crowd, and declaring throughout the night that this was a "safe space" for all. After borrowing a baseball hat and some reading glasses from a couple of fans, Justin challenged himself to hit the huge overhead chandelier with a guitar pick from the stage, and it only took him four tries to accomplish it!
With all the falsetto and sometimes-humorous lyrics, it is easy to overlook sometimes just how talented these British rockers actually are. After all the shenanigans and fun Justin likes to have, he reigns it all back in at the end with those two huge hits from Permission to Land, “Hands Off” and “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” to remind us all just how much talent is behind this fun loving act!
The Darkness : http://www.thedarknesslive.com
Diarrhea Planet: http://diarrheaplanet.com
The Darkness Photos by Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos
Diarrhea Planet Photos by Harold Mountain / JustAFanPhotos