British rockers, The Darkness, bring down the house in Chicago as they pass through on their current Last Of Our Kind tour.
The high-energy two-piece from Denver,Â In The Whale, open the night. Nate and Eric were asked at short notice to step in for These Raven Skies as openers on a few nights of this tour due to the Canadian rockers experiencing trouble getting across the border. They do not disappoint the packed out House of Blues, managing to get the entire main floor crouched down on the floor before going crazy on cue. The result is an impromptu mosh pit and beer can missiles being launched towards the stage.
Chicago is ready for the welcome return ofÂ The Darkness, their first show in the city in two years. They kick off proceedings with the hard-hitting opening track of their new album, Barbarian, before launching into favorites fromÂ Permission To Land,Â “Growing On Me” and “Black Shuck.” The setlist for the night had that perfect blend of old and new, with songs fromÂ Last Of Our KindÂ stand up there shoulder to shoulder with “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” and “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” rounding out the night just before their encore.
The Darkness is a band who are firing on all cylinders. One can only describe the vocal range of Justin Hawkins as phenomenal, and he puts it to full use on all the new material (as well as the old). His command of the audience with his anecdotes and energy is something that is missing from a lot of current day acts.
Dan Hawkins’ solid riffing remains the bedrock of The Darkness’ sound and, it has to be said, that some of the riffs from Last Of Our Kind are right up there with the best. “Mudslide” is a great example of this and was a highlight of the evening.
Rufus Taylor may only have joined the band in May, but gels so well with Frankie Poullain to complete the rhythm section, that it is clearly a match made in heaven. This is fortunate as another drummer change would start moving them into Spinal Tap territory (although so far none of the previous drummers have spontaneously combusted!).
The North American tour is continuing until November 1st, so if you like great rock and roll played by a fantastically charismatic band, do yourself a favor and catch them when they roll into your town.