The Darkness by Randy Cremean

words & photos by Randy Cremean

In an era of pop mediocrity, trap music and milquetoast indie-rock bands, it's good to know The Darkness are still out there playing loud, over-the-top, ridiculously fun rock 'n' roll. You see, we could all use some escapism right now; a reason to let down our hair (real or metaphorical) and throw out some blistering air guitar solos. We yearn for bright lights, massive amps, infectious riffs, and choruses meant to be sung at the top of our voices. The Darkness delivers on all that and more.

Justin Hawkins, clad in a leopard skin body suit, owns the stage like the great rock frontmen before him. His jump kicks and hair tosses are immaculate. His banter is witty, endearing and completely natural. His falsetto reaches impossible heights. Hawkins is a glam rock hurricane whipping the crowd into a frenzy. With his brother, Dan, holding down rythym guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass, and Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums, The Darkness creates a rock spectacle that taps into something primal.

Openers, Diarrhea Planet, fully embody the rock 'n' roll ethos. With four guitars, raucous energy and plenty of heroic poses, it didn't take long for the Nashville band to win over the crowd. Don't let the name fool you. They're great musicians who are deadly serious about having fun.