If you could merge the nightclub from The Matrix with the costumes of Labyrinth, you’d pretty much have the atmosphere of The Darkness’ show. Just the sheer number of studded black capes and platform boots in the crowd foreshadowed a one-of-a-kind evening.
The people-watching opportunity was made even freakier by Irving Plaza’s specialty drink list, dedicated to the bands’ glam metal hits. The gentleman in the fur coat and red cowboy boots was sipping an I Believe In A Thing Called Love (Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila, triple sec, fresh lime), and the lady in the snakeskin pants was downing an Open Fire (whiskey, gingerale, lime). But even if you hadn’t touched a drop, The Darkness would have blown your mind a bit.
Their theatrical intro featured heavy synth, something akin to blaring bagpipes, and an empty stage. When they finally leapt in, the rush of cheers well surpassed the capacity of the plaza. “Give me a D! Give me an Arkness!” shouted frontman Justin Hawkins, who was rocking a black-and-white striped Beetlejuice suit and matching suspenders. Thanks to the explosion of lights behind them, the Darkness’ show was, ironically, as bright as the sun.
Calling it 80s revival would almost be missing the mark; as far as The Darkness is concerned, the 80s never left us. Headbanging like they invented it, they shredded and sweated through glittering anthems like “Barbarian,” “Growing on Me,” “Get Your Hands Off My Woman,” and “Love on the Rocks with No Ice.” While we’re on the topic of badass theatrics (and glitter), can we please get these guys to team up with Mother Feather?
Between their beloved, 10-minute guitar solos and cowbell breakdowns, the show was so lost in time, it didn’t even seem real. And that was the best part.
Article: Olivia Isenhart
Photos: Shayne Hanley