Review: The Darkness makes a glam comeback in Sydney
It’s been a long, long wait for The Darkness to return to Australian shores. Their fans have had to patiently wait through rehab stints and new band members, but they were rewarded for that patience as the band, with their original line up, graced the stage of the tiny Roundhouse to a sold out crowd.
The Darkness @ UNSW Roundhouse Review: Allie Voyage
Ripping the set open with "Black Shuck", the entire audience got instantly transported back to 2003, where they were then originally nostalgic for the glory days of glam metal, something sadly missing from today’s popular music line up – where guitars solos were directly in proportion to hair length.
Throughout the night, The Darkness sprinkled their set with less commercial hits and more recent tunes like the new single "Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us", but it was always going to be the high-powered singles from the first two albums that would send the crowd into a frenzy. Hits like "Growing On Me", "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" and "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" turned the 18+ crowd into a wild pack of screaming teenagers, badly imitating Justin Hawkins' amazing vocals but having oh so much fun just trying. The maturity levels were kicked up a notch when a female punter directly in the centre of the pit decided to spend the rest of the night atop her friends’ shoulderd - naked from the waist up. No one complained.
Frontman Justin Hawkins seems to have toned his look down a bit - gone are the candy striped spandex jumpsuits with tattooed flames leading out from his crotch area - but thankfully the huge rock and roll falsetto that comes from his mouth still remains, as do the incredible guitar solos that stole the spotlight on each and every track that charged out from the stage. Also thankfully, original bassist Frankie Poullain’s handlebar moustache remains intact.
The band and the crowd may have gotten older and restrained their antics (only slightly), but the energy that filled the Roundhouse had not diminished in the years since The Darkness’ last Aussie visit. And neither had the band’s ability to hit the high notes, both literally and figuratively. The newer tracks are a little less powerful than the past two albums, but there is no doubt The Darkness will be set to rock on into the coming years.