The Darkness @ South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
On most Wednesdays in Dallas, you'd usually have to look all around to find a decent show in the Metroplex. But on this Wednesday night, you'd have your choice of a sold out Distillers show at the Curtain Club, a sold out show at the House of Blues with the up and coming Greta Van Fleet, or you could have come to the horribly under-attended and underappreciated show at the less-than-utilized South Side Music Hall with rock veterans, The Darkness. One, I don't know any of the Distillers music. Sorry. Two, Greta Van Fleet sound great but are they visually appealing? Still on the fence. Three, the Darkness have a nice catalog of catchy glam-rock, never cease to amaze with their performance, and last, but certainly not least, they are the fucking Darkness!!! So the few hundred of us who chose the latter, chose wisely and enjoyed an evening of pure sonic bliss.

The Darkness have not enjoyed the spoils of rock stardom in the US since their debut, classic album, Permission to Land, but that hasn't kept them from rocking thousands of stateside fans every few years.  Supporting their latest effort, Pinewood Smile, the band chose to end their Tour de Prance in Dallas, which would have been a good idea, minus the other two sold out shows on the same night.  Regardless, the band was here to rock, and rock they did. Frontman Justin Hawkins was not shy at pointing out the nearly two-third empty venue, noting that it was hard for him to hear with all of the reverb from the empty space. But the British foursome put on a valiant performance, not showing any signs of disappointment and embraced the opportunity to perform perhaps one of the more modest crowds they've seen in some time.

The 16-song set relied heavily on 2003's Permission to Land, performing eight songs from the album, while only touching on four from 2017's Pinewood Smile.  But I think with a show where the circumstances aren't ideal, going back to the classics was just what the doctor ordered.  Performing classic Darkness anthems such as "Givin' Up", "Friday Night", and "Growing on Me" kept the crowd more than engaged and showcased the band in the brightest of lights.  To show the band was still having fun, they took an extended time away between their initial set and encore, only to come back with matching Texas swim trunks.  The band closed their show with "Japanese Prisoner of Love" and the one and only, "I Believe in a Thing Called Love", in which they brought all of Diarrhea Planet and their four guitars, to add to the Darkness's Justin and Dan Hawkin's existing axes.  Six guitars on one song!  But being their last night together, Justin Hawkins said it had not been before but it had to happen.  It was glorious and so much fun to witness.

Photos of the show are below:

The Darkness @ South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX The Darkness @ South Side Music Hall, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 07, 2018 Rating: 5
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