The Darkness Rock Los Angeles: They Came, They Conquered
Since reforming last March, British glam rock stalwarts The Darkness have been on a tear. After blitzing through Europe last summer and fall delivering explosive shows at many of the big festivals (including a headlining appearance at Sonisphere in Madrid), the band toured Japan before hitting North American shores.
The group's sold-out show at the House of Blues in Hollywood this past Sunday, Feb. 19, was a testament to the band's legacy. Transforming the venue into a joyous, raucous, rollicking English-pub, the adoring crowd sang along with the band's trademark catchy, anthemic choruses and hung on every move of limber lead singer, Justin Hawkins (who wore an assortment of colorful leather jumpsuits throughout the night that harkened back to the Bowie-Mott the Hoople-Marc Bolan era, circa 1973). It was a raise-the-rafters love affair between band and fans that easily could have gone all night.
The nearly two-hour, 21-song set featured all of their debut album, 'Permission to Land' (from 2003), some selections from 2005's 'One Way Ticket to Hell... and Back' along with new songs and a killer cover of Radiohead's 'Street Spirit (Fade Out).'
Guitarist Dan Hawkins told Noisecreep, "It's a far cry from when we first played in L.A., in support to someone at the Roxy in front eight people! It's just unbelievable to be selling out shows after having not been around for so long, and with no album out! We have an amazing fanbase who seem to have been there, willing us to get back together and right behind us at the shows when we did! Quite magical! In times like these we are proud to provide good time rock 'n' roll, the perfect antidote to a recession!"
Opening the night was Foxy Shazam, who also managed to whip the crowd into shape thanks to the compelling performance of frontman Eric Sean Nally, who came off like the wild offspring of Freddie Mercury and Iggy Pop. The band (also featuring the insane keyboard antics and playing of Schuyler Vaughn White) seemed to be the perfect compliment to The Darkness in that they are also clearly inspired by the gloss, glitter and drama of the mid-1970s, but bring modernize the genre with their own pluck and style.
But it was The Darkness the jam-packed house came to salute, hoisting their drinks high and singing as loudly and lustily as they could as the band gave them everything they came for - and more.
Watch The Darkness at House of Blues, Feb. 19