The Darkness in Pittsburgh reviewed

It was during a frigid rain soaked evening in October that The Darkness and their fearless leader Justin Hawkins brought a little ray of sunshine to Pittsburgh.

The band is currently out on the road bringing their Blast of Our Kind tour to the masses with tour mates These Raven Skies and if the tour hits your town, it behooves you to check out one of the most entertaining live bands on the planet for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.

For reasons that those in attendance were not privy to, These Raven Skies could not be there that night so local artists Gene the Werewolf came in at the last minute to save the day so to speak.

The band’s sound is similar to that of legends like Def Leppard, Motley Crue and AC/DC with a modern feel to it and was extremely well received by the hometown crowd.

They hammered out a powerhouse set with songs like “I Only Wanna Rock N Roll,” “Superhero” and “Give It Up” leading the charge and by the conclusion, the crowd was primed and ready for what was about to happen next.

What happened next was epic, as The Darkness hit the stage and proceeded to bring the house down. Their loyal fanbase packed the venue to near capacity, with each and every one of them singing all the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

Fans were dazzled with a set of newer tracks like “Barbarian,” “Mudslide,” “Roaring Waters” and “Open Fire” alongside of classics such as “Black Shuck,” “Love Is Only A Feeling,” “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and their smash hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.” They even threw in a cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirt” for good measure.

Obviously it was more than the sum of the playlist that made the show so damn good, it was the band member’s individual performances that made the show so thoroughly entertaining to watch.

New drummer Rufus Taylor was shrouded in light from behind, leaving only a shadowy figure pounding the hell out of the drum kit, which added a certain mystique to his flawless performance.

Then there was bassist Frankie Poullain, who gave a performance equally as impressive and fun to watch. His striped suit with red inlay and massive afro giving him a real 70’s throwback vibe, which fits perfectly with the band’s overall image and sound, but as usual, most eyes were firmly fixated on the Hawkins brothers.

Singer/guitarist Justin Hawkins and his guitarist brother Dan are the heart and soul of the band and command their share of the spotlight.

Dan absolutely owns the stage and plays with a confidence and swagger that is rarely seen these days, bringing to mind 70’s guitar gods like Jimmy Page, Pete Townsend, Angus Young, Joe Perry and even Gary Moore. His weapon of choice, a vintage 1970’s Gibson Les Paul adding serious credence to his already larger than life stage presence.

Keeping with that 70’s theme, there is simply no denying that Justin emulates legends such as Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltrey and even Freddie Mercury. There is also no denying that his performance was just as over the top and flamboyant as his aforementioned peers.

Hawkins, decked out in a black and white striped suit very similar to the one Michael Keaton wore in Beetlejuice, held the crowd in the palm of his hands at all times and by the end of the 3 song encore, which wrapped up with “Love on the Rocks,” sweat was dripping from fans like the rain outside and their voices were spent or blown completely. A sign of a great Rock N Roll show.

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-Eric Hunker