Rising to prominence in the mid 2000’s, England’s The Darkness are often one of the first bands that come to mind when someone mentions modern glam metal. After an initial run of popularity the band split in 2006 in the midst of frontman Justin Hawkins’ battle with drug addiction. Five years later in 2011, with a clean and healthy Hawkins at the helm The Darkness reformed and have since gone on to release two new albums. In 2014 after drummer Ed Graham departed, the group brought in Rufus ‘Tiger’ Taylor to serve as their new drummer. Taylor is the son of legendary Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Since re-uniting The Darkness have been touring almost non-stop, their latest US leg – entitled ‘Back to the USSA’ – is in support of their 2015 release “Last of Our Kind.”
Last Wednesday night the tour stopped at Boston’s legendary Paradise Rock Club. The Darkness hit the stage and immediately launched into their new material, in fact three of the first five songs that they played were from the new album “Last of Our Kind.” The song “Mudslide” began with Justin Hawkins jumping into the crowd, doing a stage dive that he referred to as a mudslide. From the sixth song of the set on, the setlist would consist entirely of material from the band’s other three albums. The power ballad “Love is Only a Feeling” gave the small room a big arena feel while being played. The ultra catchy “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” saw Justin Hawkins running all around the stage, even at one point doing a full handstand on the drum riser, as he proved to be the showman he has earned his reputation for being.
Closing the main set was the song that everybody wanted to hear, the smash it “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” the song was met with loud cheers and a sea of cell phones raising in the air to capture the moment. The crowd belted out every word, especially coming alive on the choruses. The glam rockers returned for a two song encore consisting of “Concrete” a song from their comeback album “Hot Cakes” and “Love on the Rocks with No Ice” another cut from their legendary debut.
All total, nine songs were played from “Permission to Land” as the group leaned heavily on their most heralded album. Going to the nostalgia factor worked in a big way for the band as their current run continues to draw fans out in droves across the US and on this particular Wednesday night, The Darkness made Boston feel more like a Saturday night on the Vegas Strip.