• Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

I knew it was going to be an interesting night watching The Darkness, judging by the pre-show song selection that was pumping through the speakers before the band hit the stage at Brooklyn Bowl.

Unlike most hard rock bands who get their audiences in the mood by blasting an onslaught of metal before the lights go down – The Darkness chose an eclectic bunch of songs from Led Zeppelin, Haircut 100 and Stevie Wonder to name a few. It is that eclecticism that makes The Darkness the best rock band in the world right now. Period. And whoever booked them at the Brooklyn Bowl on a warm October night was a genius, so as to take advantage of the large contingent of music fans who were also in town to see U2 at the Sphere that week.

The vibe at Brooklyn Bowl was what I’d call a good, old-fashioned rock and roll party, where audience members actually knew the lyrics, and kept their cell phones tucked away. Band members Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Rufus Tiger Taylor, and Frankie Poullain hit the road in 2023 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album Permission to Land. While the band has since released six studio albums to varying degrees of success, the one common denominator for them is that as a live act, they can’t be beat.

Hitting the stage at 9 p.m. sharp, the best way to describe the show was humorous, engaging, fast paced and joyful. There are no downtrodden faces on stage, no musicians dressed like they work at a skateboard shop; no joylessness. It’s obvious that The Darkness love to perform, and they love to play together. It was a fast two-hour set filled with banter from lead singer/guitarist Justin Hawkins, that was a combination of storytelling and comedy. Hawkins is the modern day David Lee Roth; however, Hawkins has far more self-awareness, far better clothes (and hair) and a stellar voice that still can hit the high notes years after he first climbed out that clamshell for the “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” video back in 2003. Hawkins takes his craft seriously, but doesn’t have his nose in the air, which is refreshing.

The song list for the night was as follows: Black Shuck, Get Your Hands Off My Woman, Growing on Me, The Best of Me, Makin; Out, Givin’ Up, Love is Only a Feeling,Curse of the Tollund Man, Stuck in a Rut How Dare You Call This Love, Street Spirit (Fade Out) Radiohead cover, Holding My Own, Friday Night, I Believe in a Thing Called Love. Encore:I Love You 5 Times, Love on the Rocks With No Ice.

With that two-hour set, The Darkness proved once again that they are what the world needs.

Live photos by Courtney Ware for ZrockR Magazine 2023. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

By Mink DeVille

" None of your business." - Mink ( yah, she won't tell us anything that we can publish- but she can write! No doubt there!)

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