Review by Harriet Kaplan, Photos by Rose Guererrd

Rock fans of all kinds descended upon The Wiltern in Los Angeles, CA to witness, see and experience the greatness of U.K.’s very own The Darkness in all its campy splendor. The excitement in the air was palpable and the audience was super pumped up and psyched for the unforgettable show on October 6th.

The band recently completed a U.S. tour that celebrated its 20th anniversary release of a deluxe edition of their debut, “Permission to Land” with a new 4-CD/DVD package that is called “Permission to Land…Again.”

The group is dynamic and features the charismatic and talented frontman Justin Hawkins, who is a consummate showman and vocalist. He wore a skintight jumpsuit that showed plenty of skin and was very low cut. He’s very trim and limber, and at one point, did a headstand on a drum riser and pulled the impressive feat of clapping his feet together on the beat. Hawkins also tells great stories about literally everything that comes to his mind and his ad-libs and asides are unique, priceless and original.

The band’s sound is as thunderous as it is sonically seductive. The muscular arrangements were delivered with aplomb, panache and style by Hawkins brother Dan on guitar, bassist Frankie Poullain, and drummer Rufus Tiger Taylor (son of Queen drummer Roger Taylor). They are a powerhouse unit to the core. The melodic songs are really catchy and easy to sing along to for the audience.

Besides their hit single “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” there were a number of memorable show highlights including “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” “Growing On Me,” and “Love Is Only A Feeling” and much more. There was also songs performed that appear as outtakes on the 20th Anniversary box set of “Permission To Land” such as “How Dare You Call This Love?” and “Curse Of The Tollund Man.”

Having of had the honor of reviewing The Darkness before twice, the bar was set very high based on those previous standout performances. However, this show didn’t disappoint or fall short. It was every bit a phenomenal spectacle of entertainment, exceptional talent with the width and breath of musical chops and prowess that never let up coupled with great songs. All of that alone, makes The Darkness an act to be reckoned with and respected two decades after the release of the debut album that they celebrated like a grand, raucous party at The Wiltern.


Black Shuck

Get Your Hands Off My Woman

Growing on Me

The Best of Me

Makin’ Out

Givin’ Up

Love Is Only a Feeling

Curse of the Tollund Man

Stuck in a Rut

How Dare You Call This Love?

Street Spirit (Fade Out)
(Radiohead cover)

Holding My Own

Friday Night

I Believe in a Thing Called Love

I Love You 5 Times

Love on the Rocks With No Ice

Review by Harriet Kaplan, Photos by Rose Guererrd

To submit an article an article or review, or to just say hello hit us at [email protected]

Also- check out the search feature in the upper right hand corner and search for your favorite artist, event, venue or genre. You’ll be surprised at what you find!

Check out the Live Music News and Facebook page for updates and announcements.