The Darkness bring their Tour de Prance to Las Vegas with support from Diarrhea Planet.
A typical Friday night in Las Vegas has lots of options, but The Darkness has been a highly anticipated show people have been talking about for weeks. The Darkness are an extremely fun band that hasn’t played here in about two years and the crowd is clearly ready. This tour is different than most that have been coming through Las Vegas lately with only two bands, most recent shows have had four or five bands, but these two bands deliver and it is a refreshing change. The crowd is surely in for a good time and Brooklyn Bowl is a perfect location for this show, it is large enough to accommodate all the fans but it is still intimate and the large video screens offer everyone a good view plus the sound quality is excellent here.
At 8:00 PM, the room goes dark and Diarrhea Planet takes the stage. Many aren’t familiar with this American Punk band from Nashville Tennessee, but those who aren’t are wowed right from the start. On stage, they are a mix of energy and chaos and it gets the crowd ready. There are jumps, poses, and all around energy. The music is fast paced and matches the frenzy of the performance. The set is short at only about 30 minutes and while the crowd would like to see more they clearly did their job getting the crowd pumped up for The Darkness.
Now it is time for the main event. The band takes the stage starting with Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums), then Frankie Poullian (bass), next is Dan Hawkins (guitar), and finally Justin Hawkins takes the stage. The Darkness is a band that cares about the look as it is a huge part of the show. That doesn’t mean they are all about the look without substance, quite the opposite, the music is first and foremost but the look is there to enhance the experience and it does so very well, you will not see another band that looks or sounds like The Darkness. Frankie is wearing a gold retro style suit and Justin is in head-to-toe leopard print complete with a matching cape. He ditches the cape, grabs his guitar and starts the night with “Open Fire.”
As soon as the first song ends the audience knows what kind of night they are in for, great music mixed with the band’s signature humor. At this point Justin tells the story that one member of the band has had a terrible accident right before coming on stage, they “burned their belly” with a cup of tea. He proceeds to engage the audience to determine who it was until it is revealed to be Dan. The antics continue through the show. Many times he refers to this as a “safe space,” a subtle nod to the current political climate, but he does it through jokes and interaction with the crowd that has everyone laughing. Another fun point of the show comes courtesy of the “plectrum glitter ball challenge,” where Justin proceeds to launch guitar picks into the air to bounce them off of the giant disco ball hanging from the ceiling. After 3 attempts he succeeds.
The set is packed with songs that the crowd wants to hear, the crowd sings along at the top of their lungs to songs like “Friday Night.” The fourteen songs and two encore songs are all delivered perfectly. Justin plays guitar and sings and the crowd interaction continues from Frankie playing up the cowbell to Justin borrowing a hat from someone in the crowd to play three tracks in a row from The Darkness’ first album, “Stuck in a Rut,” “Get Your Hands off my Woman,” and “Growing On Me.”
This Glam Rock band is one that is so different and refreshing to see, and the crowd is loving every moment of it. With that, it is time for the encore which consists of “Japanese Prisoner of Love,” and of course “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” This is a perfect way to end an amazing set.
The night is over, and it has to be said that this was one of the most fun shows to see in a long time. Both bands play to the crowd and joke around in a way that doesn’t come off cheesy or forced in any way. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the songs are solid and the performance is infectious but this is definitely a show that should not be missed.
Event Date: 30-MAR-2018