If Queen and AC/DC could have a baby…it’s name would be the Darkness. And with that combination of rock and roll DNA, you really can’t go wrong. The members of the band, Ed Graham (drums), sporting a Darkness T-shirt, Dan Hawkins (guitar), with his signature Thin Lizzy T, Justin Hawkins (vocals and guitar), channeling Freddie Mercury’s style with a black and white vertical striped cat-suit and Frankie Poullain (bass) in his Sci-Fi Samurai cowboy get-up – walked out on stage, held hands and raised them into the air to the cheers of their ecstatic fans.
Lit from behind, bright lights created a magical silhouette of a band of brothers and “best mates” who would prove to be a force to be reckoned with. After a few minutes of yelling, cheering and clapping from the crowd, the band took hold of their respective instruments and tore into the crowd-pleasing sing-along anthem “Every Inch of You” from their latest release Hot Cakes. They followed up with the nasty rocker “Black Shuck”, and an ode to STDs, “Growing On Me” from their 2003 debut album Permission to Land.
As he aspires to emulate Freddie Mercury, Hawkins does an admirable role as the consummate Rock & Roll front man – greeting the audience and acknowledging their presence with his sincere appreciation and comedic anecdotes before launching into “She’s Just a Girl, Eddie” – a song of support and endearment to their drummer. Hawkins took a few minutes to converse with the audience again and explained that the next song was a product of his history with cocaine. He made light of the subject by asking if any immigration officials were in the house while recognizing that there were fans of all ages in the house. This jest went over well with the audience before tearing into “One Way Ticket to Hell and Back”.
Mid set, the audience was treated to the uplifting first single off of Hot Cakes, “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us” before returning to Permission To Land’s “Get Your Hands Off of My Woman”, “Love is Only a Feeling” and “Friday Night”. If the show wasn’t rock enough – the band began playing a balls-out version of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit” followed by the mellow B-side “How Dare You Call This Love?” They wrapped up with a trio of heavy hitters from Permission– “Givin’ Up”, “Stuck in a Rut” and their debut single “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, which sent the crowds into a tizzy.
The band didn’t make their fans wait too long before returning for the classic encore. They performed three songs, “Best of Me”, “Hazel Eyes” and “Love on the Rocks with No Ice” – which ended the night on a high note at the relatively small Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel.
Every Inch of You
Growing On Me
She’s Just a Girl, Eddie
One Way Ticket to Hell and Back
Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off of My Woman
Love is Only a Feeling
How Dare You Call This Love
Stuck In A Rut
I Believe in a Thing Called Love
Best of Me
Love on the Rocks with No Ice