Concert Review: The Darkness

I remember when my friends and I first saw the video for The Darkness's "I Believe In A Thing Called Love." Due to their loo...

I remember when my friends and I first saw the video for The Darkness's "I Believe In A Thing Called Love." Due to their look and sound, we had a long discussion on whether or not they were a parody or just born a few decades too late. It's fifteen years later and their longevity proves they're not a band of hard rock Weird Als.

And if their track record doesn't prove it to you, check out one of their shows. You'll soon find out they're legit, bring it hard, and put on a hell of a show.

The Darkness performed to a sweaty capacity crowd at Charlotte's Underground on Friday, April 27th. The band came out onstage one by one, grabbed their instruments, and after Justin Hawkins took off his leopard-print cape, the band launched into Last Of Our Kind's "Open Fire" and the crowd went crazy.

Justin Hawkins is a Rock Star. If the cape didn't give it away, his live performance will. If he's not telling jokes on stage, he's slithering around. If he's not hitting those banshee notes, he's doing a split off the drum riser, touching his toes. He's everything you want a singer to be.

The rest of the band kicks ass, too. Justin's brother, Dan Hawkins, is an awesome guitarist who can rock some killer solos. Bassist Frankie Poullain pounded the bass in his slick gold suit. Drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor is a newer addition to the band, having only been with them since 2015, but he makes a lasting impression behind that kit, just like his father, Queen's Roger Taylor.

They rocked, but they also joked. There was a huge tube that likely held a screen above Justin's head that fascinated him all evening. He kept promising to show us his PowerPoint slides and do shadow puppets. At one point, someone handed him a note from the crowd and he led us all in a rendition of "Happy Birthday To You" to a lucky fan named Lisa.

The band played an amazing set, filled with all the songs the fans expect to hear. They finished the set strong with "Stuck In A Rut," "Get Your Hands Off My Woman," and "Growing On Me," all from their debut Permission To Land album. The band came back with a three-song encore, which of course included "I Believe In A Thing Called Love," before ending the night with "Love On The Rocks With No Ice."

The band will be concluding the North American leg of their Tour De Prance tour tonight in Dallas, but hopefully they'll be returning to the States soon and come back to Charlotte!

Open Fire
Love Is Only A Feeling
Southern Trains
Black Shuck
One Way Ticket
Givin' Up
All The Pretty Girls
Buccaneers Of Hispaniola
Friday Night
Every Inch Of You
Solid Gold
Stuck In A Rut
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Growing On Me

Japanese Prisoner Of Love
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Love On The Rocks With No Ice



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Strange Carolinas is the Travelogue Of The Offbeat, a wry look at the interesting, unique, and offbeat roadside attractions, people, music, art, food, and festivals in North and South Carolina.


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