Words & Photos by Marco Denzer

It was cold and rainy in Manhattan last Monday evening, the city hadn’t been able to shake off the winter blues, but that didn’t deter New Yorkers from coming out to see The Darkness live at Webster Hall. As a matter of fact, there was plenty of excitement among fans who braved the wintery weather waiting for the venue doors to open so they could see the show.  

Nashville rockers The Dead Deads got things started promptly at 8PM, and their set was outstanding. The trio played an eight-tune grunge and heavy rock laden setlist, including a cover of Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh?”, that kicked ass. Meta (guitar/vocals), Daisy (bass), and McQueen (drums) have all the chops, talent, presence and charisma of a band that gets your attention through their musical performance. From the moment they walked on stage, the band’s vibe was like… we came here to rock, so listen up and have some fun with us!  

The Darkness began their set with “Welcome Tae Glasgae”, the heavy rocking song from their 2021 release Motorheart, and its guitar riffs and driving drum beats felt like an instantaneous shot of adrenaline. Fans were really excited by now, but the vibe and sound of the opening tune really turned up the energy level in the room. They followed immediately with “One Way Ticket to Hell… And Back” and that was like giving the audience an open invitation to engage in a spirited chorus sing along with the band. The party was on!

Elegantly dressed in a bright pink western outfit and looking a bit like a singing cowboy in a 1940s movie, lead vocalist and guitarist Justin Hawkins led band mates Frankie Poullain (bass), Rufus Tiger Taylor (drums), and his brother Dan Hawkins (backup vocals/guitar) through an extremely entertaining and stress relieving set. There were lots of jumping around on stage, rhythm guitar jamming a la Malcolm Young, lead guitar shredding, and tons of high-pitched falsetto singing as the band played through an ass-kicking sixteen song setlist… but above all there was an incredibly engaging good vibe between Justin and the crowd. His non-stop energy, charming sense of humor, charisma and amazing vocal talent easily got the audience singing, clapping, and pumping fists in the air. Particularly during songs like “Giving Up”, “Friday Night” and “Love is Only a Feeling”. 

Midway through the show Justin ran off stage for a quick costume change and returned wearing a one-piece beige leotard, similar to those worn by trapeze performers. Looking quite a bit more comfortable and baring his tattoo covered torso and arms, the energetic front-man continued singing and entertaining as the real life of the party, without letting up. At one point during “Get Your Hands Off My Woman” he was actually doing head stands on the drum riser. 

In summary, The Darkness… backed by an extremely dynamic, bright and colorful light show, played a setlist full of hits selected from albums like “Permission to Land”, “Pinewood Smile” and “Motorheart” among others. They gave an incredibly good and heart felt performance that ended with “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” to thoroughly satisfy their fans.

The band will continue touring through Europe after concluding their North American concert dates, visit their social media pages for more details. 


Welcome Tae Glasgae

One Way Ticket

Growing on Me


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


Get Your Hands Off My Woman


I Believe in a Thing Called Love

Gallery +

TheWaster.com | NYC