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LIVE REVIEW + GALLERY: THE DARKNESS (PHOENIX CONCERT THEATRE / TORONTO, ON)

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After their face melting show last Sunday night in Toronto, The Darkness are one of the only few bands out there that have revitalized the once prominent 80’s glam metal genre. Sporting outfits that would make the likes of Mötley Crüe proud, the lads from the U.K. nailed their swaggering aesthetic and performance. Opening their set with the stage darkening and a song that was vaguely similar to Europe’s “Final Countdown”, the anticipation for these rockers to hit the stage was accentuated by the shouts of “FUCK YEAH!” by the hundreds of rowdy fans.

Slowly making their way on stage as the lights grew brighter, The Darkness waited for the cheers to settle as they proceeded to turn up the intensity. Playing bangers such as “Open Fire”, “Black Shuck”, and “Southern Trains” early on in the night, the pandemonium was getting off to a great start. With frontman Justing Hawkins being one hell of a performer in terms of presence and demeanor along with The Darkness crew, it was an absolute blast capturing the moments that were unfolding before me. Bringing the nostalgia rushing back from a once great era of music, The Darkness made it quite clear that rock & roll comes in all forms and is certainly not “dead”.

Although there were a number of highlights from their show that stuck out in my mind (such as Dan Hawkins’ shredding solos), I would say nothing topped Justin Hawkins’ numerous crowd surfs. Closing out the night with the encore of “Japanese Prisoner of Love”, their classic “I Believe in a Thing Called Love”, and “Love on the Rocks With No Ice”, there was even a point where Justin rode through the crowd on some dudes’ shoulders while shredding furiously on his Gibson. Adding the fact that he proceeded to climb the mezzanine and leap from the balcony following his little ride around the venue, The Darkness encapsulated everything there is to love about a classic heavy rock performance and then some. Making their mark on the Phoenix Concert Theatre and across the world is just one of the many achievements The Darkness have racked up ever since their formation back in 2000.

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