The Darkness Rock The Night Away @ The Belasco
by Russ Allsup
As you enter The Belasco Theatre it’s beauty just hits you right away.It’s one of those grand old majestic theaters that were built in the 1920’s and has detailed architecture that’s completely missing from the generic theaters of today. One of the practical things that I loved about it was that the floor is angled, so the highest point is at the back of the venue and goes down as it reaches the stage, so everybody has a good view. For a change, the band was easy to see. Every venue should be set up this way.
The Darkness drew an eclectic crowd that was a mix of hipsters and outcasts. They strike you as a band with flair and grandiosity, rare commodities in the entertainment industry today. Singer Justin Hawkins is a ball of energy as well as what could be called a vocal gymnast. The guy can sing like nobody’s business and has a style and delivery that’s unlike anyone else in music.
The band as well as their music is full of grandeur and bombast- their rock n’ roll anthems just sweep you off your feet. Best described as simple and enjoyable with guitar hooks that make you want to pick up an air guitar and wail away. Their music has a classic rock feel for people who want have a good time, the way rock music used to be- think Van Halen meets Queen. It’s big, bombastic, party rock n roll with sing along choruses and songs that just rock. The audience sang along with every word to every song that was played and the crowd just ate it up.
The band likes to dress in a retro rock fashion the way rock stars used to look, and I mean that in the best way. Most current groups look like they grabbed the latest gear from the Hot Topic store at the local mall. The Darkness have that look and swagger straight outta the seventies. It’s not just an act, though- this band band can back it up. They remind me of the bands I loved and that ruled when I was a teen. Not saying that they are outdated, I’m saying that these guys are a rock n’ roll band that remind you of the best bands of that genre, and when you hear them you want to be part of the party they are throwing.
Everybody should go see a band like The Darkness at least once in their life, and hopefully many times because it’s good for you. Experienced live, they make you want to lose your inhibitions and celebrate life. It’s the kind of music that makes you glad to be alive and forget about your troubles. They have that rare quality missing in most music today- fun.