The Darkness brought their rockin’ Tour de Prance 2018 tour to the Majestic Theatre on Friday the 13th - but there was nothing unlucky about this show. The retro looking hard rock band from across the pond kicked off their concert with an explosive performance of “Open Fire.” Justin Hawkins and fellow band members brought an energy to the stage as electric as the shining leopard print jump suit Hawkins was wearing.
The opening song was soon followed by “Love Is Only A Feeling” and a powerful slam of “Southern Trains.” Hawkins’ voice was fantastic as he effortlessly coasted though the night’s catalogue of hits. The concert wasn’t a non-stop ride though. Hawkins took a few moments between songs share some of his British charm and humor.
While wearing, as one audience member called it, a Tommy Bahama shirt, picked up from the crowd, Hawkins notes the abundance of young children in the audience and asks for permission to sing “Get Yer Hands Off Of My Woman” unedited from the parents. (Lots of F bombs). Sure thing! Of course! “But just this once,” he says! And then proceeds to drop explicit lyrics with much of the crowd filling in the most family friendly lines for the next few minutes. Good times! (but just this once)!
As hard as it was to peel eyes away from Hawkins’ sick dance moves, he obviously wasn’t on stage alone. Bass player, Frankie Poullain, played it cool all night wearing a bright orange 70’s style disco suit while drummer Rufus Taylor (son of Queen’s, Roger Taylor) pounded away like a hurricane on his drums. Guitarist, Dan Hawkins, sent shockwaves through the theater with his endless supply of soulful rock n roll energy.
By the way, there were two encores! The first included “Japanese Prisoner of Love” and then the mega hit fan favorite, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love.” Hawkins likely surprised many in the crowd by performing these in a touristy Michigan t-shirt that said “Michigan - America’s High Five!” across the front.
Near the end of the show, the band disappeared for what seemed like an eternity, but likely only about 3-4 minutes, only to come out feeling like rebels to play “Love On The Rocks” - for which Hawkins crowd sourced two denim jackets (with a giant Judas Priest patch nonetheless) and a denim hat and asked “With two jackets, do I look DOUBLE rebellious?” From a distance, I might have mistaken him for Johnny Depp sans scarf.
Between kicks, a hand stand on the drum kit (while clapping his feet to the music), exotic wardrobe changes and performing on the shoulders of security as he is chauffeured through the crowd playing his guitar, Justin Hawkins is as an entertaining front man to watch like few others of our time.
The Darkness is undoubtably a great band and must-see in concert because they bring that exotic extra something that keeps roll n roll alive.
Love Is Only A Feeling
One Way Ticket
All The Pretty Girls
Buccaneers of Hispaniola
Every Inch Of You
Stuck In A Rut
Get Yer Hands Off
Growin On me
Love On The Rocks