Article and Photos by: Matt Stasi
Los Angeles, CA – Glam rock with a huge set of cajones. If I get nothing else across with this review of THE DARKNESS’s show at The Belasco Theater in downtown Los Angeles this past Tuesday night, let it be that. The Darkness is all about unapologetically theatrical, high octane, rock n’ roll…with balls.
The Belasco Theater itself played a memorable role during night with it’s exquisitely gothic architecture, high swooping arches, and impossibly ornate domed ceiling. Originally built in 1926 and by David Belasco and managed by his brother Edward, it was originally a theatre house having graced such Hollywood legends as Lionel Barrymore, Douglas Fairbanks, Tallulah Bankhead, and Hedda Hopper…just to name a few.
Starting off the night to a rapidly filling house were fellow UK rockers, RAVENEYE. I positioned myself off stage right next to a speaker for a good portion of their show and my chest can attest to how loud these guys play. Aggressive, thrashing, enigmatic…RavenEye is not for the faint of heart, or the weak of ear. I pity the band that has to follow their hellish act if said band isn’t up for the challenge. Fortunately, headlining the night was The Darkness, and they’re exponentially more than up for any challenge.
The Darkness wasted no time fueling up the night with the highly charged Barbarian off their latest album, “Last of Our Kind”. With guitars thrashing, drums pulsing, and larger-than-life frontman Justin Hawkins’ trademark falsetto scream, this well-oiled quartet strutted their stuff across the stage with the type of acrobatic swagger that would make the likes of Jagger and Pop scratch their heads and say, “hmm…why didn’t I think of that…”
Hawkins worked double on both keyboards and guitar during the song Friday Night before the band broke out in the crowd favorite, Every Inch Of You. In this particular song the lyrics suggest that a great number of people would fancy sucking a certain four letter appendage (starting with the letter “C”) of the singer. The place erupted when behind the silhouetted band was the suggested appendage all spelled out in spotlights as Hawkins belted out the raucous notes.
The set ended with their 2003 smash hit I Believe in a Thing Called Love. The band thanked the audience and made their way off the stage, but the fans weren’t having it. The place erupted. And not one to disappoint, the band returned to the stage to play Love on the Rocks with No Ice…all the while with Hawkins riding on the shoulders of security through the sweaty, fist pounding crowd, effortlessly shredding a guitar solo that even Taylor Hawkins of the Foo Fighters marveled at as he watched on from above.
The Darkness continues their onslaught across America during their Back to the USSA Tour. Find tickets and dates here: http://thedarkness.co.uk