Currently, Toronto was the only Canadian stop on the “Let Them Eat Cakes” World Tour. The Darkness played this same venue about a year ago and this time around was sold out as well.
Just over a thousand fans crammed into the club to be entertained by these British rockers and entertained we all were. After a five year hiatus the guys reunited in 2011 and are now celebrating their third release ‘Hot Cakes,’ which came out last August. The band features an original line-up of front man/guitarist Justin Hawkins, his brother Dan Hawkins on guitar, bassist Frankie Poullain and Ed Graham on drums.
After Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” finished playing, the lights went out and the headliners took to the stage at 9:15pm. They opened up with “Every Inch Of You.” Justin was wearing a black and white stripped spandex body suit, reminding me of Nikki Sixx’s Theatre of Pain costume. “Give me a D! Give me a arkness! We’re The Darkness from the United Kingdom and we’re here on fuckin’ business!” were the first words from the singer. After “Growing On Me” drummer Eddie was forced to stand up, showing off his Darkness t-shirt and then served as the official stage backdrop. “We had to not bring in the original backdrop due to some customs stuff. I think there was a bit of cocaine on the edge of it or something” Justin joked.
Bassist Frankie has got to have one of the best afros in rock and he treated us with some extra cowbell during “One Way Ticket.” I’ve seen countless shows at this club over the years but I have never seen anybody straddle the sphinx that sits on a landing above the entrance to the main room. Justin did just that after stating he was a natural horse rider and then jumped into the crowd. The next song was jokingly renamed to “Get Your Hands Off My Sphinx.” A rocked-up version of Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out) was performed which I thought was an improvement to the original. “Givin’ Up” was a great oldie and featured one of many AC/DC style riffs heard throughout the show. In fact, if you are a fan of the first album ‘Permission To Land’ they played all but one from it.
It was great to see the crowd react strongly to every song, they were moshing, bouncing and singing throughout the 95-minute performance. After “Stuck In A Rut” Justin strummed on the guitar while playfully shaking his ass across the stage. The opening chords of “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” sent the crowd into a frenzy, which then led us to the encore break. “Concrete” was the first song which featured Justin playing slide guitar on the overhead hanging speakers.
Earlier he dazzled us by standing on his head on the drum riser and clapping with his feet. But he saved the grand finale for the last song, “Love on the Rocks With No Ice.” During this song he went out into the crowd on the shoulders of a security guard, climbed onto the balcony ledge, jumped into the crowd and then back onto the security guard to return to the stage, all the while giving off some excellent Chris Cornell like screams. Justin is a great singer and very entertaining to watch and yet somehow doesn’t overshadow the rest of the band as all of their personalities mesh well.
This was my first time witnessing The Darkness live spectacle, it exceeded my expectations and it certainly won’t be my last time seeing them.
Every Inch Of You
Growing On Me
She Just A Girl Eddie
One Way Ticket
Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us
Get Your Hands Off My Woman
Love Is Only A Feeling
The Best Of Me
Street Spirit (Fade Out)(Radiohead cover)
Living Each Day Blind
Stuck In A Rut
I Believe In A Thing Called Love
With A Woman
Love On The Rocks With No Ice
All Photos by BackstageAxxess Correspondent Brandon Taylor.
We would like to thank Livenation Canada for the credentials to cover the show.