The Darkness exploded on stage at a sold-out Palace Theatre in Melbourne last night in their first Australian tour in four years. The Darkness frontman and glam-rocker, Justin Hawkins, and Brother, Daniel, lead the original lineup from the band’s 2003 debut album Permission to Land to our shores after they reunited in 2011.
“Give me a D. Give me an Arkness”, is how Hawkins greeted fans before a surge of musical power ignited the room as The Darkness launched into their opening song Black Shuck. After a collection of songs from the 2003 album Permission to Land and the 2005 release One way Ticket to Hell and Back, the band fire into the first single off their new album Nothing’s gonna stop us, and halfway through the song Hawkins rips off his vest.
The rock and rollers certainly haven’t missed a beat, hurling their electrifying guitar riffs at the crowd in an ejection of energy. Justin’s outrageous and flamboyant costumes, dramatised poses, and his unique, spine-tingling falsetto lures in the audience and we remember, after all these years, why we stayed hooked on The Darkness. Justin prances around the stage effortlessly, stopping only momentarily to casually pick up his guitar and strike up an unmistakable Hawkin’s guitar solo.
Everything about The Darkness is over-the-top; they are from another world. Caught in the Parallel Universe of rock and roll, a tattooed and topless Hawkins, influenced by 70’s and 80’s glam rock gods of Freddie Mercury and Bowie, and The Darkness are unforgettable.
A couple of cat suit costume changes, a Radiohead cover of Street Spirit and an amazing acoustic version of Holding my Own by a solo Hawkins, the band then deliver another taste of new music, which feels like it has always been there.
After blowing us away with crowd-favourite I believe in a thing called Love, a brief break and another Hawkins costume change, The Darkness tore into their first song of the encore, Hazel Eyes, followed by their final song, an electrifying Love on the Rocks with no Ice.
In true Hawkins form, he left the stage with his guitar and was lead through the crowd on the shoulders of security, thrashing out one final solo to remember.
Australia have missed The Darkness. Welcome back boys.
Growing on Me
The Best of Me
One Way Ticket
Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off my Woman
Holding My Own (Acoustic)
Love is Only a Feeling
Every Inch of You
Is it Just Me
Street spirit (Radiohead Cover)
She’s Just a Girl, Eddie
Stuck In a Rut
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Love on the Rocks with no Ice