rams head live | 4/24/18
By Jay Oakley
A relaxing ballad comes over the sound system and the lights go down. With anticipation at it's peak out walk The Darkness. The crowd erupts. With the band members in place out struts front man Justin Hawkins and the show kicks off with "Open Fire." The Darkness has a very unique way of designing their sets because the follow up was the stripped down ballad "Love Is Only A Feeling" and then "Southern Trains." Usually, this is the time in the show when all of the photographers are told to scoot from the photo pit, however, Justin told the crowd that he wanted to keep us around for at least one more song, maybe more because he said what we do is very important. Such a warm, fuzzy feeling and our fourth song gift was the high octane, "Black Shuck."
OK, back to the show! Next up was "One Way Ticket" and ""Givin' Up." "Givin' Up" is not only one of my favorite songs but is also a song I love watching the crowd get into. It's such an energetic song with sing-along choruses and it's definitely the point in the show when the crowd has given up giving a fuck about holding back and they are in it to have a great time. "All The Pretty Girls," Barbarian" and Buccaneers Of Hispaniola" were a solid block of songs that The Darkness' two most recent albums. They feature that same signature sound but also feature a small touch of different styles. Some might call it maturity, I like to call it a newer grasp and continued dedication to their craft.
Next up was was "Friday Night" and yet another opportunity for the crowd to sing loud and proud to that signature Darkness, crowd friendly, song-writing. "Every Inch Of You" was off the Hot Cakes record and was the only song featured from said record and "Solid Gold" followed as the band returned to their latest release, Pinewood Smile. The show closed out with a serious of trademark tunes from their debut, Permission To Land, "Stuck In A Rut," "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" and "Growing On Me."
The encore started with "Japanese Prisoner Of Love followed by, of course, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" to close out the evening. However! Justin said that with the crowd went crazy enough during "IBIATCL" that the would play one more song. Request delivered upon and gift given as The Darkness treated the crowd to "Love On The Rocks With No Ice" to put a nice little bow on this package.
The Darkness are an amazingly energetic band of gifted musicians. Justin Hawkins is on vocals and guitar, Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass and Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums.
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For a small outdoor show that was free to the public The Darkness absolutely crushed it. Giving the fans everything they had like this was any other gig. These are the kinds of shows that make a fan feel great inside. Seeing a band truly perform even when they aren't making anything off admission.
With three records to their credit, The Darkness have been a force in the glam rock world. They exploded onto the scene in 2003 with their debut album Permission to Land and its first single, the smash hit, "I Believe In A Thing Called Love" as well as many other terrific songs including "Growing On Me" and "Love Is Only A Feeling." The new album Hot Cakes is a powerhouse of its own and just solidifies how great The Darkness' music is and how far they've come as song writers.
The Darkness bring slamming guitars and inspire incredible fan participation. Front man Justin Hawkins has a flamboyant style, something of a mix of Queen's Freddy Mercury and Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, and he dominates every show. Thin Lizzy's influence on The Darkenss' music is unmistakable. From the bass riffs to the writing and how they work the crowd. The Darkness came on stage to "The Boys Are Back In Town" and guitarist Dan Hawkins loves his Thin Lizzy t-shirt.