By: Ricardo Santiago Rodriguez
If you want to enjoy a real rock show, buy your tickets for The Darkness and their Tour de Prance tour hitting the US. I went to the concert at the Rams Head Live on April 24th and I was not disappointed, this show was one of the best I have been to in quite some time. Needless to say, I have quite a lot to tell you about it.
Of course, every great concert requires an opening act. At nine o’clock Diarrhea Planet came out and spread across the stage to their respective positions. Sure, the band sounds like your neighbors garage band, and yes, they dressed like one too, but damn, they know how to rock out with the crowd. Many times, the lead guitarist would step over the press pool, and in pure rock and roll fashion began to perform a solo while deep in a wide stance. The drummer was raging on, pounding his set with the rhythm of the bass guitarist. The lead singer did not just sing, he proclaimed his lyrics to the crowd. Luckily for us, Diarrhea Planet has come out with two CDs, one of which you can check out here.
Soon after Diarrhea Planet completed the final song of their set, The Darkness burst out onto the stage, causing everyone in the crowd to erupt with indecipherable screams and cheers; we were all hysterical at the sight of the band members coming out onto the stage. What makes The Darkness an incredible band is that they are humble, some new artists have a tendency to come out on the stage as if they are a god sent from the heavens above, but each member of The Darkness walked onto the stage. Their approach was made me feel as if they were incredibly grateful to have Baltimoreans for cheering them. We cheered on for a solid three minutes and they had not even touched an instrument.
As they began to play their set with songs Open Fire and Love is only a Feeling to the Baltimoreans, the venue Rams Head shook along with the bass. Frankie Poullain, the bassist and backing vocals, played the whole set in a lime green pin suit form the 70’s while Justin Hawkins, front man and lead singer, sang in a very tight two piece leopard suit, they were the personification of glam rock. Being placed in the front of the photo pool gave a new perspective to the show; being so close to the band rocking out to their songs from their new album was a thrill ride beyond comparison. The flashing lights, the pounding bass, and the adrenaline rushing lyrics placed me in state of awe. For that moment, I had a lapse in my mind about my objective for the night, and they were just that good in the first three songs.
The rule of having a press pass is to stay in for the first three songs only and then leave. Hawkins asked the fellow photographers including the crowd and myself if we could stay for one more song, even acknowledging that our jobs are important for the venue and the band. The crowd began to chant one more song, as did I in the photo pool. The Darkness performed one more song for us; talk about a class act.
Even after the song, Black Shuck was over and we left to join the rest of the crowd, the band continued to put on a show. Hawkins talked to the crowd, asking how we all were and how excited he was to perform for us along with having the tour. At one point he tried to convince the audience on the second floor to come down and enjoy the show with the rest of the crowd. For a band to communicate so intimately to the crowd was heartwarming and welcoming.
With each song came with more thrills. I personally felt as though I was participating in a music video rather than a concert, because of how intimate this event ended up being. What made concert so surreal was the fact Hawkins continued to talk to the audience about the bands progression, the tour, and their adventures. The stage was made for them to rock out.
Hawkins actually had to take off his top for the remainder of the set. The whole band began to look less like they were living in 2018, and more like glam rock legends of the 80’s. Each song the band played meshed perfectly into the next, never skipping a beat or falling out of the rhythm. They are true professionals of the craft that is rock and roll. I cannot express the quality of show The Darkness put on for Baltimore. I truly wish to see them again on tour in the future.
Finally, I would like to give a special thank you to Renee Harrison, for the opportunity to review the show and give a 90’s baby like myself a chance to partake in the era of glam rock and roll.