The Darkness Light Up Toronto with Some Wham Bam Rock and Roll

Take your pick and call The Darkness what you like: Glam metal facsimiles, retrograde Queen quartet, you name it. Love them or hate them, one can only come to their own conclusions by seeing them live in concert.

As it so happens, the UK band did just that, bringing their own brand of rock and roll to a packed Phoenix Concert Theatre. Throughout their whirlwind 90-minute set promoting their latest album Motorheart, athletic showmanship seamlessly combined with their droll humour and shredding solos to appease their clamouring, merch-wearing, beer-guzzling fans.

Comprising of charismatic frontman Justin Hawkins, the Suffolk foursome also consisted of brother Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass, and Rufus Tiger Taylor, son of Queen’s Roger Taylor, on drums.

The Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins rocking the keytar. Photo by Myles Herod.

Far more than the 1970s/1980s acts they have been compared to, Justin Hawkins blasted out gems like “Solid Gold”, “Friday Night”, and “Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman” like a bare-chested Robert Plant.

Elsewhere, like on the night’s encore “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” both band and frontman exuded such buoyant energy and crunching guitars, it wouldn’t be off the mark comparing them to Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust and his underrated Spiders from Mars.

Yes, The Darkness is clearly indebted to UK legends of yesteryears. However, with pummeling riffs, rock-solid rhythms, and otherworldly vocal chops, the band have carved a nice music path all their own.

 

Myles Herod

Myles Herod

Traveller, image maker, pop-culture seeker, storyteller, a guy you want around when things go south. Tastes range from Kubrick to Krautrock, Wu-Tang to Wiseau. Currently resides in Toronto, Canada.