In brief: Foxy Shazam...we love you. Eric Sean Nalley, you began the show with a proclamation that “You were once a woman...now I’m a MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” and ended it by declaring “EVERYONE...YOU’RE PREGNANT!!” as you slammed the microphone to the stage. In between you told a disgusting joke about a dog, jumped on guitarist Loren Daniel Turner’s head and humped his neck WHILE he was playing a rippin’ solo. You did somersaults while one man horn section Alex Nauth humped the stage behind you. In short, even though your set was mercilessly short (six songs?), you f@#@ing rocked and we thank you for it. Come back soon so we can get the full dose...or just to check on the 800 or so children you fathered at this show alone.
With that out of the way...
When The Darkness hit the stage last Wednesday night at The 9:30 Club, you’d have never guessed that it had been almost 10 years since the “retro” rockers from Great Britain conquered their universe with their undeniable and inescapable hit, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.”
Normally it wouldn’t be exactly fair to tie a band’s success to just one song, but when that track turns out to be one of the greatest rock epics of all time (VH-1 confirmed); it’s sorta required that it at least gets a mention. Nobody would know who the band even was these days if not for that song, so it’s lucky that they had it in em, because besides penning one (many) of the most rocktastic songs you’ve ever heard, The Darkness also happen to be one of the best balls-to-the-wall rock bands that you’re ever going to see. EVER.
See there was a time when men were MEN, and Star-Spangled jumpsuits weren’t the exception, they were the rule. So it was only appropriate that an epically mustachioed (and Star Spangled jump suited) Justin Hawkins led his band on a triumphant tour through Valhalla and back again, delivering 2 hours of jubilant praise to Thin Lizzy on high the likes of which that would make even Freddy Mercury blush. But it was no act.
The Darkness understands Rock and Roll. They understand that it’s not about deep feelings and hushed moments. The Darkness understands that Rock and Roll should be as loud, flashy, and impossibly trashy as you can possibly make it. It’s been far too long since any rock band has so gleefully invited you to rock-out-with-your-cock out, but that’s what The Darkness have come to our world to do. And you can call it “retro” or “revisionist” or what have you, but that really wouldn’t be doing The Darkness’s music justice. We don’t disparage bands like Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings or the late Amy Winehouse for looking backwards to find their sound so why should it be in rock? The 70’s happened people. Furthermore it was a GLORIOUS time when artists married the more theatrical music that they had grown up with (I mean seriously, EVERY Queen song should/could be an opera) with the screechingly loud musical equipment that was newly available to them. Put a fuzz pedal on that? Yes sir, I’ll take FIVE.
With songs like “Black Shuck”, “Growing On Me”, “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” (which featured a conducted sing-a-along on the songs final “motherfuuuuuuuuuuucker”), and yes, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” The Darkness may have had their tongue planted somewhat firmly in their cheeks, but their feet, as well as the audiences were loudly stomping on the floor, spitting in the face of the very idea that this kind of rock could or should ever go away. A great song is a great song by any standards, and at the end of the day, The Darkness have written some pretty freaking great songs. Now, their songs may be meant to be enjoyed at high volume, in a sweaty room with a couple hundred of your friends, a handful of pills and a veritable ocean of beer, but really when you think about it, what the f@#@ is wrong with that?
Nothing, I say. Nothing at all.
Growing On Me
The Best Of Me
One Way Ticket
Nothing's Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
I Can't Believe It's Not Love
Holding My Own (Justin solo with acoustic guitar)
Love Is Only A Feeling
Everybody's Having A Good Time
Is It Just Me?
Street Spirit (Fade Out) (Radiohead cover)
She's Just A Girl, Eddie
Stuck In A Rut
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
Love On The Rocks With No Ice