Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, 13.03.06
There are things you think about a lot before deciding to do them… And there are other things you don’t even think twice before saying “yes, I’m going to do that”. That what happened with the Brussels show.
It was decided 2 days before the show (on the Saturday) that we were going to make it. Decision was taken in 2 minutes and a half. Without regrets!
I arrived at the venue 15 minutes before the opening of the doors, and only 10 persons were queuing in front of us. I had no doubt we’d be on the first row.
Indeed, while I was sorting my ticket’s problem (I didn’t book any ticket for that show and counted on my legendary luck to find one), I joined my friend who was already waiting on the barrier. First row, Richie’s side. That could only be good!
Doomfoxx soon entered the stage. And I have to say I was impressed. They were good, probably better than the openers on the UK tour and delivered us a very strong set. They got us headbanging by the third song and we were finally fully ready for the Darkness to begin their show.
After the usual preparation of the stage, when we all can admire Justin’s new golden guitar, the venue goes dark and Arrival by Abba begins. I’m wondering how they’re going to enter the stage, without the knockers-mobile. I see Ed sitting behind his drum kit and realise I’ve never been that close to him during a show. He begins to beat Knockers’ rhythm. Richie shortly arrives into the light. Have I already said that I love THIS bass line? No? Well, I’m saying it now. I love it. Dan begins to play the riff and I see Justin enter the stage. It’s the fifth time I’m seeing them this year and I’m as excited as the first time in Dublin. One Way Ticket, Is It Just Me. I’m so close to the stage, it gives me the feeling they’re over me.
The band is in top form, and the audience feels it and reacts. People behind me begin to jump and push and I’m trying in vain to push back the excited teenager that uses my shoulders to rest his elbows. But I don’t care, I’m having fun. And I’ve known worse.
The setlist is the same than the last times. But this time, it isn’t Is It Just Me? that is announced as the next single. No, it’s Girlfriend. When Justin begins his little speech, I already know what he is going to say, and I want to punch the guy 1 meter away who yells “Hazel Eyes”. Nope, it’s Girlfriend. I’m already bouncing.
The other novelty of the setlist measures 6’5”: Richie. He sings. What I’ve heard before the show made me eager to hear that. I’m not disappointed. The boy can sing. And this is the most hilarious Highway To Hell I’ve ever heard (apart from the one I sing under the shower…). Which was supposed to be a short extract of the song ends in the full version, with Richie mouthing to the crowd “help me, I can’t remember”… Well, something like that…
One song before the encore, I Believe In A Thing Called Love, then it’s English Country Garden and Bald, where Justin, as he used to do before, played the solo on the shoulders of a roadie walking him in the middle of the crowd.
Even with a few technical problems with Justin’s mic during Growing On Me and the sticky tape that doesn’t want to stick on Richie’s head to hold his erm? Monitor earplug (whatever it is called for real…), the show is perfect and gets the crowd begging for more. Small venues-1, arenas-0…
But it’s already time to go… See you in Milan!