The Darkness Bring Shoulder Rides & Bombast To Boston (SHOW REVIEW/PHOTOS)

“This is the last show of this tour. My voice is fucked! I need you to sing with me.” pleaded Justin Hawkins, the tattoo-laden singer and guitarist of the UK rock and roll quartet after storming through the first two songs of the set. Supporting their latest, and almost their greatest album, Last of Our kind -The Darkness descended upon the coveted Lansdowne Street rock club adjacent to Boston’s beloved Fenway Park for the finale of their Blast of Our Kind Tour.

With a captivated crowd eating up each note, the band tore through several more mammoth songs that rocked their fans with unforgiving ferocity. These heavy hitters included “Black Shuck” and “Mudslide” which carries the weight of Thor’s hammer. Justin Hawkins took a minute to lovingly add, “This is the time that I introduce you to a man who was born out of the same vagina that I was – Mr. Dan Hawkins.” Brother Dan then proceeded to tear into the up-tempo “Givin’ Up”.
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Mid-set, the band slowed things down a tad with the only ballad of the night, “Love Is Only a Feeling” before having a bit of fun with the pop rock hip-shaker, “Friday Night” and the rollicking “English Country Garden”.  “Garden” allowed Justin Hawkins to sit for a minute and playfully mug with the audience before tickling the ivories on a beat-up electric piano. Hawkins continued to impress by swapping the keys for his six string to brandish a ferocious guitar solo before sitting back down to finish the song. Is there nothing this man can’t do?

Later on in the set, Justin Hawkins made yet another special pair of introductions. “Ladies and gentlemen, Rufus Tiger Taylor, our new drummer. This is the first song that we wrote together. Hopefully there will be more to come. The band then broke into a non-LP track, “Rack of Glam”. Though, not the most dynamic song of the set, it did offer something new and unexpected. Justin then sarcastically acknowledged that it was a Sunday night, but that, “It would be nice if you danced a little” before bellowing, “This one is ‘Get your Hands Off My Woman’ – asshole!” which brought the fans to laugh, scream and pump their fists in the air for the next several minutes as the band tore through the callous number which featured fiery guitar solos and a scissor-kicking headstand on the drum riser.

The fun wasn’t over yet as Justin had a teasing, yet playful call and response with his army of Darklings, which included audience members requesting that Justin remove his trousers.  Laughing it all off, Hawkins sincerely bestowed a kind gesture back by saying, “The Darkness loves Boston!” before taking a well-deserved two minute break and wrapping up the first part of their set with “Rut” and “a song that you might recognize”, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” before leaving the stage.

After just a few solid minutes, the band returned to the stage. Justin Hawkins used this opportunity for his sole wardrobe change of the evening – a matching pair of white tennis shorts and Thin Lizzy T-shirt. They then continued their clinic on how to put on a proper rock show by slaying their audience with the, not so subtly Cult-influenced “Open Fire” which just may be one of the best tracks off of the Last of Our Kind. They continued with a set-staple cover of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit” and the epic fan and band favorite “Love on the Rocks with No Ice”. The latter, featuring Hawkins’ trademark shoulder ride through the crowd while shredding on his trusty white Les Paul.

Though Justin Hawkins doubted his ability to sing at the start of the show. Any weakness was undetectable as he brilliantly sang through the 18-song setlist that covered the band’s entire catalog. So, say what you will about the falsettos and yesterday’s catsuits. The Darkness’ Justin Hawkins (vox,guitar,piano), Dan Hawkins (guitar), Frankie Poullain (bass) and Rufus Taylor (drums) are spot on and a band of brothers that should be taken more seriously. With their well-oiled machine that is now steamrolling across Australia and shorty back in the UK – feel lucky if you’re able to catch a show.

The Darkness Setlist House of Blues, Boston, MA, USA 2015, Blast of Our Kind Tour

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