Monday, May 13, 2013

The Darkness kicks off North American tour in Raleigh

All photos by Kevin Norris
On Friday night, over-the-top British rockers The Darkness kicked off their North American tour at Raleigh's Lincoln Theatre. Even though the band hadn't played shows in a few months, they were in top form, delighting the crowd with their infectious, tongue in cheek rock and a unitard-sporting, undeniably entertaining frontman.

After opening with "Every Inch of You" from the band's latest album Hot Cakes, the band rocked "Black Shuck" and "Growing on Me" from their breakthrough album Permission To Land, which would be played almost in its entirety by the end of the night.

Frontman Justin Hawkins is a force to be reckoned with. At various points throughout the show he both sang a song while on a member of the crowd's shoulders, interacting with the crowd with tongue in cheek sass, and did an impressively long headstand on the drum riser during a song. Oh, and he did all of this in-between playing blistering guitar licks and singing in a strong, high-pitched falsetto during many of the songs.

Highlights of the set including everything from Permission To Land as well as a few excellent b-sides from that era, "How Dare You Call This Love" and "The Best of Me" and the catchy "She Just a Girl, Eddie" from Hot Cakes.

The band closed the set with "Stuck in a Rut" and their big hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." The band quickly returned to the stage for a three-song encore featuring the aforementioned b-side "The Best of Me," a blistering cover of Radiohead's "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" and an extended version "Love on the Rocks with No Ice" which saw Justin Hawkins out in the crowd again playing guitar and singing on someone's shoulders.

The Darkness are a tight, impressive band that are simply making incredibly rock music that is fun for the sake of being fun and that's just fine. They're there to make sure the crowd has a great time and they achieved that and then some in Raleigh.

Kindred spirits in creating fun rock music Free Energy opened the show. The band played a short set of powerpop tunes from their two albums, Stuck on Nothing and Love Sign. The band's namesake song is always a highlight of their shows and new songs like "Electric Fever" blend right in with the older material. They band are regular visitors to the Triangle and are well worth checking out next time they roll through.

The Darkness set list
Every Inch of You
Black Shuck
Growing on Me
She Just a Girl, Eddie
One Way Ticket
Nothin's Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Love Is Only a Feeling
Friday Night
How Dare You Call This Love?
Givin' Up
Stuck in a Rut
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
The Best of Me
Street Spirit (Fade Out)
Love on the Rocks with No Ice

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