Staff Editor on
Before kicking off a 36-date date North American tour this month, the Darkness’ frontman Justin Hawkins proclaimed, with typical bravado and theatricality, that the band’s “mighty winged chariot has been dusted off” so that they could bring rock ’n’ roll salvation, U.K.-style, to “your moderately distant shores.”
Even though Tuesday’s night Los Angeles stop on the tour was downsized from the Novo to the El Rey Theatre, Hawkins and bandmates Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain and Rufus Taylor did their audacious best.
Not unlike the quartet’s vein-buster four years ago at the Fonda Theatre, the show saw them shredding, howling, cavorting and cajoling like rockers from the distant past. The Darkness, though, are very much in the present; the tour is supporting their seventh album, “Motorheart,” released last November.
They played just three songs from the new album, instead performing twice as many from the LP that put them on the map, 2003’s “Permission to Land.” At the end, as has often been the case on their visits to L.A., was their first-album single, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” If we remember right, the video for that single had the Darkness aboard a spacecraft battling aliens. On Tuesday, the rapacious, almost-post-pandemic crowd at the El Rey was enthusiastically doing battle with them.
Setlist: Welcome Tae Glasgae, One Way Ticket, Growing on Me, Motorheart, Open Fire, Solid Gold, Givin’ Up, It’s Love Jim, Black Shuck, Heart Explodes, Friday Night, Love Is Only a Feeling, Japanese Prisoner of Love, Barbarian, Get Your Hands Off My Woman. Encore: I Believe in a Thing Love