Better Than: Most of the shows we've seen since we saw the Darkness in 2004
When New Times spoke with Darkness guitarist Dan Hawkins
, he insisted that his band puts on a stadium-sized show literally every
time it steps on stage -- regardless of the venue, crowd size, or any other circumstance. Last night's show at Revolution provided proof that not only was the British purveyor of power chords telling us the truth, he was actually holding back just a little.
The Darkness rolled triumphantly into South Florida after nearly 10 years away. Finally, the glam-rock revivalists afforded fans the opportunity to once again bask in the glow of their cranked Marshall amps, shrieking falsettos, and rampant air-humping. The song "Everybody Have a Good Time" went from being an ode to a night out to a command to all in attendance.
Opening the show for the Darkness was Hell or Highwater. The band looked like extras from Sons of Anarchy and the performance was the group's first opening for the revitalized Brits. Hell or Highwater played a driving style of rock that was somewhere between what a band like HIM does and your average hard-rock radio fodder. However, the group's sound somewhat betrayed its image, and we firmly believe that if you look like you ride a motorcycle, God dammit, you'd better sound like you ride a motorcycle.
For us, a point of redemption for Hell or Highwater's less-than-memorable songs was the thread of metallic-shred and harmonized guitar leads that laced the performance together, and the band's energetic performance definitely won over the crowd by the end of their set.
The entirety of Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back in Town" blasted through Revolution's sound system, stretching the anticipation in the room tighter than Justin Hawkin's striped catsuit. Then the band hit the stage like a ton of glittering bricks.
The Darkness was loud, proud, and the percussive crack of their amps punched in a way that's been forgotten. These days concerts are usually low volume and easily controlled beasts. Between the shrieking chorus, sexual innuendos, and burning guitar solos, "Every Inch of You" was the perfect slab of bombastic rock glory to kick the set off with, and the crowd was dancing and shouting along in no time.
Bassist, Frankie Poullain, looked like a member of Kiss on a casual night, donning leather trousers, a leather/silver lame cowboy shirt, with his familiar Dylan-esque afro rising far above his headband and the din he and his mates were creating. Guitarist, Dan Hawkins, had on one of his many Thin Lizzy T-shirts and assumed the rock guitar power stance for most of the night.
After a few songs, a call and response with the audience signified the proper arrival of the group, with Justin Hawkins commanding the audience to "Give me a fucking D!"..."Give me a fucking ARKNESS... We are the fucking Darkness, and we're here on business!"