The Darkness (w/ The Dirty Pearls & Sweatheart) – 10/21/2012
Terminal 5 – New York City
Words/Photos/Video – Jay Porks
Well, today was another case of me being on my way to a bitchin’ rock show while one of my professional sports teams loses in heartbreaking fashion. Thursday was the Yankees, and before tonight’s show kicked off the Jets had lost in overtime. Speaking of the show- Hello everyone, and welcome to the 80th edition of the Jay Porks Never Ending Concert Series (I’m told there’s a watch waiting for me at # 100) which takes us to Terminal 5 (610 West 56th Street) in the Hell’s Kitchen area of New York City to see The Darkness play one of their two shows on this side of the pond in support of their new album ‘Hot Cakes’, which you should go buy if you haven’t. Now, the only bad news is that Foxy Shazam is not in the building (they opened up for the band at Irving Plaza in February) but we’ve got two other openers to make a case for themselves here tonight as we have ‘Sweatheart’ and ‘The Dirty Pearls’ due up before everyone’s favorite cock-rockers hit the stage. Doors are at 7, with showtime at 7:30. Let’s roll.
After a pretty intense walk from the train station, I made it to the entrance at 6:47 where they were already bringing people in and having them wait on the roof top smoke deck not to crowd the streets of Manhattan. Did I mention I’m wearing a suit? Well, last night my friend Janine (who was at The Offspring with Pam and I) got married and the ceremony was so awesome I figured why not let the good times roll on into Sunday night. I mean, it’s the Darkness we’re talking about here-must keep it classy. So they let us in at 7 and I’m dashing to my usual spot on the 3rd floor when I’m stopped by event staff. First he’s asking me for my VIP sticker (because I’m wearing a suit I guess) and when I tell him I’m a regular fan he informs me that the 3rd floor is not open this evening. I said “What’s that, due to lack of ticket sales or something?” he nodded. I cannot believe the Darkness are underselling this place? It holds 3,000- They sold out both nights at Irving Plaza in February, granted it’s a third of the size I figured this show would be sold out for months. Bummer. So my new spot is right behind the sound board and the guy controlling the lights, I’m looking down at all the action, hey there’s the Darkness set list right there on the table-let me just copy all these songs down and scout out when I’m going to tape. This spot I grabbed is on the 2nd floor, straight in the back. Finally get to see the stage background thing that bands always hang but I never see because I prefer a side view.
At 7:31 Philadelphia’s own “Sweatheart” hit the stage. No, I’m not misspelling the word Sweetheart-it’s actually Sweatheart. They have a mannequin siting at the key board , several members wearing black hoods, (Halloween is around the corner after all). Once she removes the black hooded thing, this lead singer has a this skin tight bodysuit hot enough to keep my attention, and that girl’s name is Amanda Blank. For a half hour, they dropped their weirdness on us, filled with plenty of innuendo and crotch grabbing to explain why they were indeed opening for the Darkness. Justin Hawkins says this band did the animation for their music video “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us”. As I watched I kept trying to pin what sub-genre they fall under. They were like Bubblegum-Heavy, but when I came home, I read that they’re “performance rock”, and the band’s website says: “Approachable Stadium Pop, Man Jams (with Women) or Community College Rock. No wait, 80’s Screwball Comedy Soundtrack Rock”. Well whatever it was it sounded good to me, I like bands with a sense of humor (and a hot lead singer who openly discusses ejaculating on breasts). I did not see a bass player. They went off at 8:02
Things are moving quick on stage, as it only took til 8:13, for The Dirty Pearls to come on and rock this joint out-and they did. This band was more straight ahead Rock N’ Roll. Here we have a hometown band with a lead singer wearing sunglasses indoors and two guitar players playing nothing but gnarly fucking riffs man. Fuck Eddie Van Halen. I’m starting to get packed into this little spot here as people are catching on to this awesome view. Only one slow jam from them: “You Got Me Where You Want Me” to counter act the hard hitting songs like “Bruises” and the track that ended their set, “New York City Is A Drug”. They just released their debut full length record “Whether You Like It Or Not” which you can download at the bands website. Good times. They went off at 8:47
At 912 when “The Boys are Back in town ” started blasting through the PA, you knew that the boys were in fact back in town as the Darkness hit the stage. The band has a new record out called “Hot Cakes” and it’s spectacular. They have two U.S. Dates supporting this effort-that;s right TWO. Us NYC folk get them, as well as the City of Angels in a few days. Not surprising they’d began the evening with the first song on the new effort, “Every Inch Of You”.
Dan Hawkins in a Thin Lizzy tee shirt while Justin is in his usual Freddie Mercury style shiny white jump suit. “Black Shuck” followed with “Growing On Me” really had this place (well, the two floors of the place) rocking.
I mean, I know about a handful of people who are as into this band as I am-not everyone is smart enough to get these guys. But the ones who do were here tonight, as hands were waving, people in the back on the first floor were dancing (good idea for the playlist if I ever get married-The Darkness), just good vibes all around this place. “She’s Just A Girl Eddie” was our next Hot Cakes track to appear, and people already knew the words to it! This isn’t even one of their singles.
“One Way Ticket” came next and it featured a pause in the middle of the song as Justin was kicking guitar picks with his heel until finally the bass player caught one on like the seventh try to a resounding ovation.
Then before they played “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us” we were informed about how Sweatheart did the music video for them, and they were very grateful. Towards the end of “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” Justin had pointed to some fan in the crowd, who raced up through the sea of people to the front, where he was dragged on stage to help out on the “mother fucker” audience participation part of the song. That guy was funny. He took off his shirt and threw it at Dan, before walking over and taking a sip of Justin’s water. All of a sudden this guy’s a rockstar now. Awesome. Justin told him “end it with a leap!” and he did, he leaped right into Justin’s arms before grabbing his shirt and diving into the crowd to be surfed to the back of the room. Priceless.
I find it funny that the band has two songs on the set list that start with the word love and they choose to put them back to back. That’s the case next when the band busted out “Love Is Not The Answer” followed by my personal highlight of this evening: “Love Is Only A Feeling”.
This is a song where Dan gets some time to shine with his gee-tar..See, back at Irving Plaza when I saw this band, event staff made me put my camera away before I was able to tape this epic ballard. So I was thrilled to be rolling when they jammed out on that one before Justin ran back stage to change jump suits. Tattoos much? Jeez I thought that said “Thug Life” across the stomach for a second. This guy’s bad ass. In the black and silver jumper, an older tune “Friday Night” was followed by two new tracks “Concrete” and “Everybody Have A Good Time”.
This is the part where I say “The Darkness Covered Radiohead!!”
but it’s not a rare thing as they do “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” live almost every set, so much so that they recorded a version of it for Hot Cakes. I have to be honest here, I’m not a fan of this song much as a Radiohead song, but The Darkness knock that shit out of the park. The band was in rare form tonight, and I hate myself for living in the only borough you need to take a boat to get to and having to leave right after that because of the Ferry’s Sunday scheduling. Justin was introducing “Givin’ Up” on my way out, as I heard him saying “Hey, you want to hear me and my brother sing a song about Heroin?”. What a great freaking band.
I had copied down the set list before the show started from the sound board, you can find that below this little photo gallery. So pissed at myself for having to duck out of there, but as with life, stuff happens. Once the videos upload, they’ll all be posted right here. The Darkness covering Radiohead is first up of course. And oh yeah, check out my awesome photos. Seriously, I’m getting pretty good at this.
Every Inch of You
Growing on Me
She’s Just A Girl Eddie
One Way Ticket
Nothin’s gonna stop us
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Love Is Not The Answer
Love Is Only A Feeling
Everybody Have A Good Time
Street Spirit (Fade Out) [Radiohead Cover]
Stuck In A Rut
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
With a Woman
Love On The Rocks With Ice