By: Robert Cavuoto
“Has anyone ever really escaped from New York?” Justin Hawkins, lead singer and guitarist for The Darkness asked jokingly, from the stage at Terminal 5. Curious, it seems, , to know if this part of the city was safe!
Just in case of any danger, he and his guitarist brother, Dan Hawkins, were armed to the teeth with more Les Pauls than the Gibson factory designed, to put a sonic assault on anyone standing in their way. An assault that still has my ears ringing a day later!
Recently ,reunited after a seven year break and high on the released of their latest CD, Hot Cakes, the band thrilled their audience with an amazingly energetic show which consisted of 18 killer songs from all three of their CDs; Permission to Land, One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back and Hot Cakes.
There is truly nothing better than a well crafted song and The Darkness are skilled masters. The songs go beyond the thunderous riff or the catchy hooks; each song is laced with intricate guitar fills and nuances that bring them to life. Combine that with Justin’s falsetto voice and lyrics that strike a perfect balance of double entendres and tongue and cheek humor, so when it all comes together live… its explosive!
Songs that brought down the house were; “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, “Growing on Me”, “One Way Ticket to Hell”, “Concrete”, and “She’s just a Girl Eddie”. Justin thrilled the predominantly metal crowd with scissor kicks and split kicks off the drum riser while running the stage throughout the 90 minute set in multiple Evil Knievel inspired jumpsuits. The only thing that was missing from this outstanding show was a motorcycle jump over the drums and amps!
What did come close was when Justin was carried on a roadie’s shoulders into the audience while playing their encore, “Love on the Rock with No Ice” as loyal disciples clawed and grabbed at him like hungry vultures. All songs were performed with a sense of furiosity and executed flawlessly. Eddie Graham (drums) and Frankie Poullain (bass) provided the strong and steady driving beat that catapulted the twin guitar attack for the night.
This show, as well as one in Los Angeles later in the week, is just a pit stop in the U.S. after wrapping up a European tour opening for Lady Gaga. The L.A. concert will air live on AXS TV in over 31 million homes this Wednesday, October 24.
The only low point to the show was when it had to come to end! I think the band was just as disappointed as the fans. The band’s high energy performance left fans chanting their name long after they left the stage. Justin told me the band will be back in the U.S. in 2013 on another tour….so don’t worry, The Darkness is here to stay!