The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles, steps from the garment district, hosted The Darkness on Tuesday night April 12, 2016. After questioning Google maps accuracy I came upon the dimly lit line sprawled across the sidewalk at the Spanish / Gothic decorated Belasco Theater. With zero marquee I still questioned Google, but the numerous firefly red lights beckoning me into their parking lots let me know I had reached my destination.
The small lobby played host to merchandising consisting of t-shirts and not much else. Two doors opened into the GA richly adorned burlesque theatre with cocktail seating along the edges. The perfect ambience for a rock and roll show.
Taking the stage, The Darkness, opening with “Barbarian” a song from their latest release, Last of Our Kind. Out came frontman Justin Hawkins, dressed in a shiny blue suit, the first outfit of many wardrobe changes . . . singer, lead guitar and rock and roll madman. Justin the obvious master of ceremonies gave great engagement with the audience, singing with and to the crowd. This reviewer appreciated his recognition to the photographers exiting the photo pit “Thank you photographers and please be kind and make me look young again.”
This band from England held the audience with every chord and soprano scream that Justin is known for. Through the show Justin beckoned the audience to sing along and commanded lots of arms up which was happily obeyed. A keyboard made an appearance played by Justin during “English Country Garden.” Lots of underarm farts and t-shirt crotch smearing for all the lucky fans. Surprisingly “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was not the encore, but instead was “Love on The Rocks” where Justin played the guitar solo ‘a la Angus Young style’ on top of a techs shoulders through the audience.
The Darkness is out on the “Back to the USSA tour” in the U.S. until May and will be in The United Kingdom and Italy toward the end of summer. Great set list from their 2003 release Permission to Land all the way to their latest 2014 release Last Of Our Kind. The Darkness is one of the last bands that captured fans with the influence of the video MTV era and has cemented and held fans with great studio releases since the beginning.
The Darkness current line-up consists of Justin Hawkins (vocals, guitar), brother Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass) and royalty offspring Rufus Taylor (drums).
Barbarian | Growing On Me | Mudslide | Black Shuck | Roaring Waters | Givin’ Up | One-Way Ticket | Love Is Only A Feeling | Friday Night | English Country Garden | Concrete | Every Inch of You | Get Your Hands Off My Woman | Stuck In A Rut | I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Encore: Love On the Rocks With No Ice