At Irving Plaza tonight, the Darkness dressed like a 1970s tribute band and sounded much like a glam rock band from that era. The concert would have seemed like a Steel Panther parody except that the songs and the musicianship successfully recreated the best elements of that time for a fresh and lively rock and roll show. Unlike most bands who feature their most album prominently in concert, the Darkness instead played most of its landmark debut album, Permission to Land, plus just two or three songs from the other three albums. The 16-song, 75-minute set was chock full of strong riffs, anthemic choruses and Justin Hawkins' unique high voice. More than the music, however, Hawkins was entertaining in an over-the-top way. Between songs, his humor was always in "on" mode, and he colored his performance with leaps from the drum riser, splits, stage diving and crowd surfing. The music was rocking but the showmanship was even more entertaining.
Visit the Darkness at www.thedarkness.co.uk.