This April the US gets a taste of something that’s been missing from it’s pallet for a while and that folks would be The Darkness returning to America! It’s no secret we here at Concert Confessions are HUGE fans of the UK’s own mythological rock gods as we’ve covered them most recently here along with reviews happening here , here, and of course here. They’re too much fun to miss when they come to town.
“If music and good times are in your soul, come see us perform live,” declares frontman Justin Hawkins. “A Darkness show is a place where believers come together, where fluids are shared and dreams are built. But most importantly, rock and roll is crowned king EVERY NIGHT!”
Justin Hawkins is correct. Fluids ARE shared. Dreams ARE built.
The band hits the road April 8th in the lovely Santa Cruz, California and the trek continues across the country making it to the east coast by the end of the month. Several House Of Blues locations are on the itinerary. Tons of chances to catch the Darkness this year in America. Just scroll the dates below and see for yourself when you’ll get to catch this must-not-miss event.
Back To The USSR Tour Dates:
Friday, April 8 – Santa Cruz, CA //The Catalyst
Saturday, April 9 – San Luis Obispo, CA //Fremont Theatre
Sunday, April 10 – San Diego, CA //House of Blues
Tuesday, April 12 – Los Angeles, CA //The Belasco Theatre
Wednesday, April 13 – Riverside, CA //Riverside Municipal Auditorium
Friday, April 15 – Las Vegas, NV //House of Blues
Saturday, April 16 – Scottsdale, AZ //Livewire
Sunday, April 17 – Tucson, AZ //The Rialto Theatre
Tuesday, April 19 – Houston, TX //House of Blues
Wednesday, April 20 – Dallas, TX //House of Blues
Thursday, April 21 – New Orleans, LA //House of Blues
Saturday, April 23 – Nashville, TN //War Memorial Auditorium
Sunday, April 24 – Cleveland, OH //House of Blues
Tuesday, April 26 – Cincinnati, OH //Bogart’s
Wednesday, April 27 – Chicago, IL //House of Blues
Friday, April 29 – Indianapolis, IN //Deluxe at Old National Center
Saturday, April 30 – Baltimore, MD Baltimore //Sound Stage
Monday, May 2 – New York City, NY //Irving Plaza
Tuesday, May 3 – Buffalo, NY //Waiting Room
Wednesday, May 4 – Boston, MA //Paradise Rock Club
Returning to Brooklyn taking place in Prospect Park May 17th through the 19th will be The Great GoogaMooga Festival. And the price is right: the Saturday and Sunday of this event can easily cost you Zero dollars if you choose to register between April 1st and 3rd with winners being selected on April 10th. You get to rock out to acts like The Darkness, The Flaming Lips, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Sharon Van Etten, Matt & Kim and many many more. There’s a good chance pending selection that this very writer may get himself over there to see some of that sweet action. For acts, prices, times and all that jazz that’s not mentioned on the above flyer, you can head over to the Official Festival Website here.
The Darkness are coming back to America! Well, for a seven date swing anyway. This May the band will make their way through North Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and Upstate New York before closing the small leg of shows in Montreal (that’s Canada). If you’re not good at reading flyers, check the dates below. And below that, check out sweet photos of past Darkness concerts we’ve covered for you here at Concert Confessions.
The Darkness Set To Return To North America In 2013
The Darkness will return to the U.S. in 2013, and it will be for more than two dates. This morning the band shared with a list of Tour Dates they’ve mapped out for next year. We’re in America, so we’ll focus on the North American dates, which bring LA and NYC no love, but rather headed up the east coast through FL to Minnesota with stops Atlantic City, Boston and Atlanta along the way before they end in Colorado (and are able to legally smoke pot) for a two night stint the beginning of February. For all the Darkness Tour Dates for America in 2013, see the list down below. For the Full Experience from The Darkness recently hitting Terminal 5 in New York City, click here.
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
The Darkness Announce Two Fall 2012 North American Shows
After two successful tours of the United States earlier this year, The Darkness are set to return for two nights this fall. With the band en route to South America, the hard rockers will play in the major media markets known as New York and Los Angeles. As you can see in the above poster, tickets go on sale later this week.
To check out our extensive coast to coast coverage of The Darkness from earlier this year, click here.
The Darkness To Open For Lady Gaga On European Tour
Talk about an odd way to wake up.
As per their official website, The Darkness will open for Lady Gaga for a slew of dates in Europe.
“The Darkness are honoured to announce their addition to the bill as main support for Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way Ball’ tour 2012.” –TheActualDarkness.Com
Now those dates are only in Europe, so we won’t be getting that show on this side of the pond. Quite frankly not sure how many people want it on this side of the pond(Darkness fans I speak of). As some may see this as somewhat “cheesy”, then you’re obviously not in touch with what The Darkness are all about. Personally, the guy typing this is not a Lady Gaga fan. But she fills seats, in large, epic venues. Now I’d love to take all those drones who don’t recognize Madonna’s moves from 20 years ago.. I would love make sure all of them are enlightened by The Darkness. If Lady Gaga hand picked them, then kudos to her for having taste in music.
All Darkness tour dates below including the Gaga dates:
The Darkness 2012 Tour Dates:
Fri 4 Australia – Brisbane – Eaton Hill
Sat 5 Australia – Newcastle – Workers
Sun 6 Australia – Sydney – Roundhouse
Tue 8 Australia – Melbourne – Palace
Wed 9 Australia – Melbourne – Palace
Thurs 10 Australia – Canberra – ANU
Sat 12 Australia – Adelaide
Fri 18 USA – New Haven, CT – Toad’s Place
Sat 19 USA – Baltimore, MD – InfieldFest
Sun 20 USA – Columbus, OH – Rock on the Range Festival
Tue 22 USA – Nashville, TN – Marathon Music Works
Wed 23 USA – New Orleans, LA – House of Blues
Fri 25 USA – Austin, TX – Stubb’s
Sat 26 USA – Pryor, OK – Rocklahoma Festival
Sun 27 USA – Dallas, TX – House Of Blues
Fri 8 – Sweden – Solvesburg – Sweden Rock
Sat 16 – Spain – Azkena Rock Festival
Sat 23 – Italy – Milan – Gods of Metal Festival
Sun 24 – UK – Isle of Wight Festival
Fri 29 – Serbia – Belgrade – Usce Park
Fri 6 – UK – Kinross, Scotland – T in the Park
Sun 8 – France – Sonisphere
Sat 14 – UK – Suffolk – Thetford Forest
Sun 22 – Spain – Palma de Mallorca – Iberostar Stadium (w/ Guns’n’Roses)
Sat 4 – Poland – Oder – Woodstock Festival
Tue 14 Bulgaria – Sofia – Vasil Levski National Stadium (w/ Lady Gaga)
Thu 16 Romainia – Bucharest – Arena Nationala Stadium (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 18 Austria – Vienna – Wiener Stadhalle (w/ Lady Gaga)
Tue 21 Lithuania – Vilnius – Vingis Park (w/ Lady Gaga)
Thu 23 Latvia – Riga – Mezaparks (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 25 Tallinn – Tallinn Song Festival Grounds (w/ Lady Gaga)
Mon 27 FInland – Helsinki – Hartwell Arena (w/ Lady Gaga)
Thu 30 Sweden – Stockholm – Ericsson Globe (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sun 2 Denmark – Copenhagen – Parken Stadium (w/ Lady Gaga)
Tue 4 Germany – Koln – Lanxess Arena (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 8 UK – London – Twickenham (w/ Lady Gaga)
Tue 11 UK – Manchester – Evening News Arena (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 15 Ireland – Dublin – Aviva Stadium (w/ Lady Gaga)
Mon 17 Netherlands – Amsterdam – Ziggo Dome (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 22 France – Paris – Stade de France (w/ Lady Gaga)
Mon 24 Germany – Hannover – TUI Arena (w/ Lady Gaga)
Wed 26 Switzerland – Zurich – Hallenstadion (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sa 29 Belgium – Antwerp – Sportpaleis (w/ Lady Gaga)
Tue 2 Italy – Milan – Mediolanum Forum (w/ Lady Gaga)
Thu 4 France – Nice – Stade Charles-Ehrmann (w/ Lady Gaga)
Sat 6 Spain – Barcelona – Palau St Jordi (w/ Lady Gaga)
The Darkness are favorites of most of the writers here at Concert Confessions. We have reviews from New York City, California, Seattle-all shows blowing our collective minds along with opening the world up to the epicness that is Foxy Shazam, who opened for them.
So we’re glad to report that as per the Darkness Website, they’ve added 8 more U.S. dates, included stops at the Infield Festival, Rock On The Range, and Rocklohoma. Here are the dates below, if they’re coming to a town near you, do yourself a favor and check them out.
The Darkness w/ Crown Jewel Defense & Foxy Shazam 02/25/12
Neptune Theater – Seattle, CA
Words/Photos by Thenaturalstoner & Mr Sparkly
If you’re a regular visitor to Concert Confessions, you may have noticed a recurring theme throughout February. On our website, individual Twitter feeds, and the official Concert Confessions facebook page, there has been a lot of talk about The Darkness, the UK rockers who hit the scene in 2003 with the infectious tune “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” So here you go, the third confession of this tour, which also happens to be the last show of the North American tour.
It seemed like this particular weekend in Seattle was about seeing a few love/hate bands…either you love The Darkness and Foxy Shazam (or Sleigh Bells who we saw the night before) or you hate them. There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, at least within the CC crew. Well, I love the Darkness and was jacked when they announced their North American tour last fall. Those hopes of seeing them were quickly dashed when I saw no Pacific Northwest dates. However, the boys came through when a few weeks later they added three PNW dates to the end of the tour.
After rocking with Sleigh Bells at the Showbox at the Market the previous night, thenaturalstoner and I headed over to the most dreaded part of Seattle, the University District (Go Cougs!), to see Crown Jewel Defense, Foxy Shazam and The Darkness at the recently renovated 800 seat Neptune Theatre. thenaturalstoner actually enjoyed Crown Jewel Defense’s set more than some of our other Concert Confessions brethren (I felt they were not bad, but just a bit gimmicky). Although I am not above giving them a second listen as both Justin Hawkins (The Darkness) and Eric Nally (Foxy Shazam) had nothing but good things to say about the band. However, we were psyched when their set ended and it was Foxy Shazam time!
Crown Jewel Defense
After reading some Foxy Shazam reviews on the site, I was extremely excited to catch this set. All of the stage antics we had been led to believe all came true. Eating cigarettes, crazy stage rolls, and awesome banter were all a fun addition to the set. The music was really good too—“I Like It,” “Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll,” and “Killin’ It” were amazing. We made our way to the floor, which was a great decision, and rocked out hard! After the set, we decided to head to spot near the front of the balcony and wait for The Darkness to hit the stage.
The Darkness came out about 10:30 and the sold out Neptune exploded. “Black Shuck” opened the set, and two hours later—with hits such as “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” “One Way Ticket,” and of course, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”—the band and their rock and roll madness had the venue in shambles. It had everything I want in a rock concert: crowdsurfing, wailing guitar solos, high-kicks, Justin Hawkins’ bad-ass jumpsuits, and a mind-blowing “Love on the Rocks with No Ice” encore. Hawkins is a hell of a front man, which made it that much more of a great show. I have listened to the band’s first album, Permission to Land, thousands of times since its debut. Over the years, I had come to the realization that I may never see this band live. Tonight, after all those years, I finally got to see The Darkness rock Seattle.
The Darkness (w/ Crown Jewel Defense and Fox Shazam) 02/19/12
House of Blues – West Hollywood, CA
Words/Photos by Reverend Justito
I have a shocking confession to make. For a brief period in time I lied and claimed I had seen The Darkness when they played at The Roxy. It was silly I know, but I just wanted to be cool. By dumb luck I was out of town when The Darkness returned and played the Fonda and then they broke up and my dream of seeing The Darkness live was all but crushed. So I lied. Thank God for reunion tours. You know I was online the second their House of Blues West Hollywood President’s Day Weekend Throwdown went on sale. I had missed the group twice; I was not going to miss them for a third time.
The evening started with a group called Crown Jewel Defense. While I wouldn’t say they were good, I will say they were the perfect openers for this tour. The band had the look – bad spandex, synchronized hair flips and screeching guitars. The groups’ music reminded me of what Saigon Kick would have sounded like after a decade that featured unoriginal ass clowns like Godsmack and Disturbed selling a ton of records. Nothing special, in fact some of the songs were cringe-worthy. Yet that didn’t really matter because the band was having fun performing to a very full floor of rock and roll enthusiasts. The highlight of their set was being smart enough to throw plenty of free promotional gear into the crowd. No matter how bad your music is people love free shit and it’s hard to hate any band who can take out a hipster by hitting them upside the head with a t-shirt.
Up next on this particular evening was Foxy Shazam. My knowledge of the Cincinnati Ohio based rockers walking into the show was my 7 inch single of “Wanna-Be-Angel” and recent confessions from the likes of Jay Porks and BeeZnutZ. Within seconds of hitting the stage I was drinking the Foxy Kool-Aid and ready to tell everyone just how great they are. This band is pure energy. I can only imagine the bruises on lead singers Eric Sean Nally’s body from the way he abuses himself in the name of rocking roll. From somersaults and random drops to his knees to crashing into the drum set watching command the man command the stage is a lot like watching an episode of Jackass.
The groups’ music was as amazing as the performance. From the opening licks of “Welcome To The Church of Rock and Roll” to final notes of “The Only Way To My Heart…” the band sounded like a well-oiled machine. As great as the jams were, it’s hard to not talk about the antics. The first highlight was Nally’s bitching out of a douchebag who ruined the punch line of a long drawn out “joke” about a drunk by screaming for the night’s headliner. As you can see here, Nally had no problem cutting him down to size. Where I assumed the highlight of the night would be Nelly eating a cigarette on stage, it turned out it was anything but. Yes, it was great to see him eat not one but no less than five lit cigarettes during “The Temple.” However the speech that followed where Nally confessed he was over the dumb stunt but felt he had to do it was somewhat heartbreaking. Cigarettes or not, Foxy Shazam are one bad ass motherfucking rock and roll revival and the sold out crowd would have been won over had he eaten them or not.
It was around 9:40pm when “The Boys Are Back In Town” by Thin Lizzy blasted through the PA. While a mix of songs from the likes of Electric Six and Boston has already been heard by the capacity crowd, there was no way that this particular song choice was a coincidence. Moments later the boys known as The Darkness were hitting the stage to a thunderous applause as they kicked off the nearly two hour show with “Black Shuck.” Out the gate the band sounded superb with their flashy guitar licks and falsetto vocals. “Growing On Me” quickly followed as late comers did their best to find a spot in the packed club.
One of my biggest surprises of the night was how much new material (and B-sides) the band performed. Early on the band started to drop songs from their highly anticipated new record (still untitled and due out later this year). Of the new material and B-sides, some of the stand out numbers included “The Best Of Me,” “Concrete” and “Physical Sex.” Another highlight was front man Justin Hawkins giving a shout out to the individual who animated the music video for the just released track “Nothing’s Going To Stop Us.” The animator jumped up and down with delight in the VIP section as the group ripped the venue a new one with the feel good jam of 2012.
As great as the new material was, everyone in the crowd was pumped for the classics. I am pretty sure the band managed to perform every track from their 2003 debut Permission To Land. Highlights included Hawkins solo take on “Holding My Own” as well as spot on renditions of “Love Is Only A Feeling,” “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” and “Givin’ Up.” Another highlight from that era was the band breaking out their cover of the Radiohead classic “Street Spirit [Fade Out]” that featured seizure inducing strobe lights and the band sounding better than Radiohead has in fifteen years. You of course don’t need me to share the reaction of the crowd when the band played their biggest hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” to close the main set.
The thing that stuck out the most was how grateful the band appeared on stage. It’s clear that each and every member realizes that they have been blessed with a second chance and at least on this particular night it felt as if they refuse to allow the opportunity to go to waste. The energy all night from the crowd was massive, be it singing along, synchronized overhead claps or clearing a path so Hawkins could shred while riding on the shoulders of a security guard during the night’s final number “Love On The Rocks With No Ice.” It’s clear that 2012 is going to be the best year for The Darkness yet and I am glad I no longer have to lie when folks asked if I have seen the pride of Lowestoft, England live.
On the same evening that New York Jets Running Back Curtis Martin get’s elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, can you believe that’s only the second best thing that happened today? Well, The 64th installment of the Jay Pork Never Ending Concert Series may have had something to do with that. Tonight brings us to Irving Plaza in NYC for an epic evening with The Darkness! Along with Foxy Shazam (Which ‘thenaturalstoner‘ praises for their latest stellar release), and I believe some other band they threw on the card that will be named in the next paragraph or so. This is great for so many reasons. First trip back to Irving Plaza since the Joe Budden debacle, and as I recall I noted to show up earlier this time and make it a must to get a better spot. Irving Plaza is also the venue me and my friend Pam scalped the fake Alice In Chains tickets and got beat on 100 bucks. Bad things have happened here. But, it’s the freaking Darkness! A band that people don’t know til you sing them the chorus from “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”, and even then they snort in derision. “You’re going to see that band?”. Yea actually I am. I can recall actually having a professor of mine at the College of Staten Island last semester breakdown the Epicness of the Darkness to some classmate who claimed they were a “one hit wonder”. That teacher said he’ll be in attendance tonight, and I will be looking for him(Brian Cogan author of many books available on Amazon, including the “Encyclopedia of Punk”). So there’s that and hey, it’s our first 2012 show-time to get back in the swing of things. I kicked it off huge last year with GWAR, and I expect The Darkness deliver as well (Well, except the “one of the guys in the band dying” part anyway). So let’s get this show on the road shall we?
So after freezing outside on a line for about an hour, they decided to open the doors. I happened to be standing next to a couple outside who I got to chatting it up with. Totally cool people, it was all laughs and talking past show experiences. Love that shit. And it was either Connecticut or New Hampshire they were from I can’t remember because I’m a terrible friend. But I know they were in a hotel and I know they were nice enough to warm me up with some of their Jagermeister while we waited for doors to open. Awesome. Finally some people who are friendly! I’m standing next to someone who says there is a second opener in addition to Foxy Shazam. I’m sure as hell hope not. Anyway I was able to snag a standing room spot upstairs, so video is happening tonight (we hope).
At 9 on the dot, a band fronted by a guy wearing rainbow zebra pants hit the stage. This band turned out to be Crown Jewel Defense- they’ve been on tour with Darkness overseas they say, and by the looks of their wardrobe I believe them. These guys look like before they formed this band they played as a Darkness cover band the way everyone’s pants hugging testicles. I mean, these guys aren’t that bad- they’re tight as a band. This guy has painted lines under his eyes like a Native American chief or something. What the hell goes on with life? A whole 24 minutes of their set went by fairly quickly, before the last song there was chants of “No more songs!” from the Irving Plaza crowd. Wasn’t me this time I swear.
Foxy Shazam came out at 9:40, and were totally freaking cool from the get go. Lead singer grabs the microphone and says: “I know Rock and Roll is dead but that doesn’t mean we can’t dance with it’s fucking ghost!!”. Hell yes! THIS is a band I can get into. They kicked it off with a song called “The Only Way to My Heart”-you had me at “The”! The lead singer jumps on the lead guitarist’s shoulders as he’s playing his little solo part, humps the back of his head. They got what I thought was hydraulic keyboards going on over there, but that was just the dude enjoying lifting it and moving it into obscure angles, including upside down to end the set. He was standing (and stomping) on that keyboard for a while there. Their lead singer is something else. All over the place, crazy swinging the mic-stand around and catching it.. Little bit of Iggy in him,
you know, minus the blood and peanut butter. During the set he asked if anyone in the crowd has a cigarette, he was tossed one with a light and lit it up. He takes a few puffs, and EATS IT. The dude ate a lit cigarette on stage! That’s what I call showmanship right there, that’s a front man I want to see more of… I feel like I’ve said this before, but this band sounds exactly like it’s name. Foxy Shazam.. just say it like this Foxy Sha-ZAM!!..Their set was over at 10:09. Then the wait for the Darkness had begun.
Hey, message to the dudes behind me-bump me again, and I’m going to turn around and punch somebody. The dance floor is downstairs if you wanna boogie, there was 5 of us that ran up here for a reason-to get away from you idiots.
So at like 10:50, the lights went off and a little intro music for a minute or so before they appeared before us: THE DARKNESS !
Rocking a stache like no other, decked out in an American Flag themed outfit looking like Johnny Depp meets Freddie Mercury. The place has filled out to the gills and going completely crazy.. these people are screaming so loud I could barely hear the notes at first. Started it with “Black Shuck” and went into “Growing on Me” from there. As someone who writes stuff on the interwebs, this point of the show I’m in heaven with a great spot and no event staffers in sight. I’m rolling, I’m gonna get this whole freaking thing! “The Best of Me”, “One Way Ticket to Hell and Back”, “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us”(The music video they release a few days ago), and “Get Your Hands Off My Women”-with the only one I wasn’t recording was the new one.
– To me, this set happens in portions. The above paragraph is me rocking out doing my Social Media Journalistic duties from the 2nd floor leaning over the railing, recording songs like the rest of the room-except I’m not using an iPhone. So this schmuck starts tapping me on the shoulder during “Can’t Believe It’s Not Love” and demands I put the camera away. Really dude? Again, I can’t stress this enough, IF YOU DON’T WANT ME TO BRING A CAMERA, THEN PUT IT IN THE EVENT INFO! You can’t just make up rules. Besides the fact of all the pot smoke and cigarettes being smoked downstairs. But no, me standing next the mom of one Foxy Shazam’s photographers with a little tiny camera is a problem. Screw you guy, you almost ruined my night.
It was at that point I realized my kidney’s were not up to the task of holding this urine in much longer, and since this great spot has gone to waste thanks to that event staff prick, might as well hit the head right about now. And I promise you this is how it went down, I can’t make this up. I run downstairs as I hear that Justin Hawkins is strumming an acoustic, but now I’m on the run to the stall and as soon as I close that door and begin to relieve myself, I hear that the song they’re playing is “Holding My Own”.. as I look down and, let’s face it, I too am also holding my own. I ran back upstairs because I heard “Love Is Only a Feeling” about to get started and I got up there and couldn’t see a freaking thing it’s so packed out. I was so mad for that split second I swung my fist towards the wall and almost punched it, I pulled back before I hit it (damn people watching me must think I’m a nutcase). I walked downstairs and sat back to enjoy this great song, and this great night. Eff that guy-I got “Growing On Me” that’s gonna have 100’s of views by next week. Porks 1, Event Staff 0.
Some bands let you down with their live performance-that is not the case here tonight. I cannot believe this guy can hit those high notes like that in real life-too bad Queen isn’t still looking for a front man to tour with-because THIS would be the guy. And keep now I’ve moved to the bar, and I’m watching the on stage happenings on a flat screen TV. I’m being blown away through a Television! This back end of the set they actually mixed in a few new songs too, that Justin said is on an album they’re working on. Good news for us Darklings. “Friday Night”(I love that song) was followed by a new one called “Everybody Have a Good Time”. He said it was “Everybody Have a Mother Fucking Good Time”, but the chorus didn’t have the expletive in it, so I’ll assume it’s not going in the title. “Givin’ Up” was in there too at some point, my iPod was dead I couldn’t take the songs down in order..Their were at least 2 more new ones in there that we weren’t privileged to be given the names of before the night was over. They went off well after Midnight, with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” being the last song before the encore, and it was already 12:10 by then.
What a night. Feels so good to get back in the swing of things for 2012-as much as I love discussing festival lineups and trying to plan trips to Beale St., it fells so freaking good typing every single word of this as the clock ticks past 5AM. Tons of other shows coming this year, as we try and top last years total of 23: We got DMX coming up, Kasabian at Terminal 5 in March, Local H coming back at the Mercury Lounge in April. Fun times, fun times indeed. But here’s something not fun: I have a restaurant to open up in 4 hours-working til 9PM. And you know what, maybe someone get’s Merlot instead of Cabernet later because I’m so shot from all this madness… but it was all so damn worth it. Thanks for sticking around for all this jibber jabbar-stay tuned.
Most events held at Crew Stadium in Columbus are trash. I say that because we all know that Ohio State Football is a joke. What is not a joke (minus a few bands) is the lineup for the 2012 Rock on the Range concert. To be held on May 18th and 19th, highlights of the line up include, The Darkness, Down, Megadeth, Mastodon and many more.
Tickets are on sale Friday Feb 10th, 2012. A full line up is below and make sure to check our coverage from Rock on the Range 2009 by clicking here. For up to the minute details, check out the official Rock on the Range website by clicking here.
Daily Line Up:
Friday Night 4play: Hairball; Foxy Shazam; Black Tide; Hells Bells…tribute to AC/DC.
Saturday, May 19: Incubus; Shinedown; Five Finger Death Punch; Slash; Cypress Hill; Chevelle; Theory of a Deadman; Halestorm; P.O.D.; Adelitas Way; Cavo; Bobaflex; Falling In Reverse; In This Moment; New Medicine; Kyng; Otherwise; Rival Sons; Emphatic; (Fox TV winner TBA).
Sunday, May 20: Rob Zombie; Marilyn Manson; Megadeth; Anthrax; Mastodon; Volbeat; The Darkness; Down; Escape The Fate; Lacuna Coil; Black Stone Cherry; Attack Attack!; Trivium; Redlight King; James Durbin; Aranda; 12 Stones; SOiL; Eve To Adam; Ghosts Of August.
The Darkness Return To North America with 2012 Tour
The Darkness is returning to North America. Best known for their 2003 hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” the four piece group will be performing songs from their first two albums, as well as new songs from a release expected to hit shelves in 2012. When asked about the trek, the bands guitarist/lead singer was quoted as saying “We literally cannot wait to hit back in the U.S. and Canada. We loved it last time and we’re sure to love it again. See you there!”
Tickets for the trek will go on sale later this week. Head over to the band’s Facebook page to figure out how you can get first crack at tickets.
2012 North American Tour Dates for The Darkness A/O 12/05/11
Wed 2/1 Toronto, ON Phoenix
Fri 2/3 Boston, MA Paradise
Sat 2/4 New York, NY Irving Plaza
Tue 2/7 Philadelphia, PA Trocadero
Wed 2/8 Washington, D.C. 9:30 CLUB
Fri 2/10 Detroit, MI St. Andrew’s Hall
Sat 2/11 Chicago, IL Metro
Sun 2/12 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue
Wed 2/15 Denver, CO Summit
Fri 2/17 Las Vegas, NV House of Blues
Sat 2/18 Phoenix, AZ Celebrity Theatre
Sun 2/19 West Hollywood, CA House of Blues
Tue 2/21 San Francisco, CA Fillmore