The Darkness is fighting to keep rock and roll alive by embracing all of its ridiculousness. Front man Justin Hawkins wears skintight leopard print jumpsuits zipped down to his navel (a little something for the ladies). With a remarkable falsetto, he sounds like a hard rock version of Barry Gibb. The lead singer crowd surfs, leaps from balconies, and frolics around the stage. This resulted in their current trek around North America being called Tour de Prance. The Darkness has a catalog of tongue in cheek songs that rival the comedy band The Flight of the Concords with a joyous heavy metal sound.
|The Darkness – All photos by the Rock and Roll Princess|
The English band started their sold out Gothic Theatre set with Open Fire from their Viking themed album The Last of Our Kind. Justin’s primal wailing along with his brother Dan Hawkins‘ frantic rhythm guitar playing made the mostly male audience jump up and down with their fists in the air. Bass player, self-help book author, and shiny yellow suit owner Frankie Poullain introduced One Way ticket to Hell ….and Back with a cowbell solo (you can never have enough cowbell).
|Frankie Poullain and the Cowbell|
Rock royalty is a member of the self described “world’s most epic rock band.” Rufus Taylor, son of Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor, has been playing drums for the band since 2015. Justin complimented Taylor’s drumming with a Shakespearian reference nobody understood (oh, the English sense of humor). After playing three songs from their debut album Permission to Land, the band came back for an encore. Wearing nothing but tiny blue shorts, Justin played a slowed down blues version of I Believe in a Thing Called Love on the guitar while the audience sang the lyrics. But the show wasn’t finished yet. Justin climbed up to the balcony and jumped into a sea of testosterone during their final song Love on the Rocks with No Ice. After crowd surfing through the audience, he climbed back to the stage stating, “The audience usually smell like raw sewage. But I was lucky because this crowd smells like marijuana and saliva. I liked it.”
As the band left the stage, the house music played Time of My Life from the Dirty Dancing soundtrack. Two intoxicated bros attempted to re-enact the famous dance lift scene from the movie with horrible drunken results. It was the perfect end to a night of goofy entertaining music.
Diarrhea Planet, the band with four guitar players and a horrible name, opened the show. They were having a blast with their high energy celebration of guitar rock. The musicians were more polished than their headlining performance at the Larimer Lounge back in November. The band packed in as many songs, crowd surfing, and guitar solos as the thirty-minute set allowed.
See you at the next show. I’ll be in a skintight leopard print jumpsuit playing the cowbell.