Rock in Rio

by Tiago Andrade

The Darkness At Rock In Rio Lisboa – May 27th. 2006

When the bands for Rock In Rio festival were announced, the major band for the second day was Guns N Roses. When I first saw the bands that were going to play on that day and saw The Darkness I immediately run to buy my ticket for the Rock In Rio.
The 27th May 2006 for me started when my friend Pedro and André stopped at my house to pick me up. It was about 17 o’clock (Lisbon Time). We drove to Lisbon and during the 20km car trip from Cascais to Lisbon we heard a few songs from The Darkness “Permission To Land” album, as a small warm up for what it would became one of my life finest rock nights.
We arrived to Lisbon by 17:30, parked the car and went by subway to Parque da Bela Vista, were the Rock In Rio festival is being held during it’s 6 days.
When we arrived to Rock In Rio the first thing we did was run into the World Stage where 4 bands were going to play that night (Pitty, Xutos e Pontapés, The Darkness & Guns N Roses).
When we found a good place to stay, not too far from the stage the first band of the day started to play. Pitty it is a Brazilian punk/rock band. The afternoon was really hot that day, by 19:30 it was 35ºC in Lisbon.

By 20:30 the most succeeded Portuguese rock band entered the stage, it was time for Xutos e Pontapés. One hour of 20 years of carrier were reviewed by the band as they warmed up the crowd before the British glam rock band “The Darkness” take the stage for their premiere in Portugal.
As the sun went down and before The Darkness take stage, there were already 50.000 people in the city of rock!
By 22:15 we started to hear “Arrival” as the intro for the greatest band of Rock In Rio, the lights went down, smoke on the stage and suddenly we start to ear Ed’s drum the light fades-in in the stage and I’m going completely crazy when I see Richie and Dan on stage, the first guitar chords Knockers and there comes Justin and there we go, The Darkness live in Portugal!
During the middle of the song when Justin takes off his Jacket and on the back of his shirt we could read “Rockers Elite” and for the first time we can really hear the 50.000 crowd to roar, and then Justin comes to the front of the stage and tells to the audience “Olá! Nós somos os The Darkness” that means “Hello! We are The Darkness”, then he goes to meet Dan and say “This is my little brother Dan, in the guitarrr” and Dan start’s some guitar riffs before the music go on.
Before “One way ticket” Justin gives to the public an amazing guitar solo and the riffs for “One way ticket” come in, and during the song chorus everybody sings with the band “One way ticket to hell and back!” and the song finishes with Justin thanking in Portuguese to the audience “Obrigado” he says and again a big noise from the crowd retrieving his words.
Justin once again walks to the centre of the stage and introduces the next music to the audience “We are going to play our last single for you now. It’s called “Is It Just Me?””.
Once again The Darkness presence on stage is huge, Justin and Richie call for the public and everyone in the crowd start’s to sing “But is it just me or am I all on my own again?” and Justin once again improves and says “It sound’s fucking fantastic!” and the song finish after the last verse.
Justin goes once again to change his guitar and when he comes back Dan, Richie and Justin start to interact with us, everyone there retrieved with a big applause and we are in onto “Growing On Me”.

During the first verses the audience comes in singing “I can’t get rid of you, I don’t know what to do,I don’t even know who is growing on who, ‘Cos everywhere I go you’re there, Can’t get you out of my hair, Can’t pretend that I don’t care – it’s not fair”. Until now the concert it’s just being great, I was jumping and singing to every song word and a few people around me were there amazed with The Darkness performance, brilliant guitar from Dan as for Justin’s solo. As the song reaches it’s end Justin goes to Richie they rumor something between them and then he comes back and ask the audience “Having Fun?!” and we all respond with huge “YEAHHHHHH” and Justin replies “Simmm” that means “yes” and again introduces the next song “We now goin’ to play a song from our first album “Givin’ Up” cus I don’t give a fuck ladies and gentleman” as the song reaches it’s end, Justin tell us “Make some sounds c’mon! HEY! Okay we are going to play our first song of our first record for you people!” and Black Shuck and I must tell you great drumming from Ed’s as for Dan’s guitar. During all the song the audience once again sings the chorus “Black Shuck” with Justin has he stopped to let us sing. Around me few people knew this song, and as we started to sing it a few more joined us, jumping and singing. Justin also talks to the audience in the middle of this great song he tell us “This is Richie, his magical in every sense of the words!”. Before “Love On The Rocks With No Ice” we all started to call for the band the you could hear majority of the Rock In Rio audience “Darkness, Darkness, Dakness” like if we all were in a football stadium supporting our team.
Justin goes to pick up his guitar give us a short but brilliant warm up guitar solo, and Dan goes into the first chords on “Love On The Rocks With No Ice”. To tell you the truth this was one of the songs where the audience really joined the band and loved every single bit of it.
Once again no words to describe what happened during this song, Dan’s solo was amazing and then Justin came in and joined Ed in his drum bit and started to play Queen “We Will Rock You” in his guitar, and all those Queen fans in the audience like me went completely crazy and once again joined the band by singing “We Will We Will Rock You” and to tell you the truth I could see in all 4 member’s face that they were loving every single part of the show, that was why they were here, to Rock Lisbon!
Justin come in to the front and started to play with the audience “Whooo” and we repeated “Whoooooooooo!” than he went up into a higher tone “Yeahhhhhh” and once again we repeated “Yeahhhhh” than Justin started his hard falsettos and that was too hard for us and the show gone on and when the song it’s over Justin thanks to the audience in Portuguese by saying “Obrigado”.

Justin introduces the next song “This is our very first single ever, and it’s called “Get Your Hand’s Of My Woman” Motherfuckerrrrrrr” and we are in fore more genial Rock N Roll!
When the song reaches it’s end Justin once again started to play with us by singing “Mother” and we all repeated “Mother” than he goes into “Fucker” and all we repeated “Fucker” and finishes by saying “You are fucking fantastic!”
“English Country Garden” from is the next song to be played and Justin gives a small improvisation in his synthesiser and we are once again in into one of my favourites song from “One Way Ticket To Hell…And Back”.
After “English Country Garden” we are in into “Girlfriend” great performance by Ed and also Dan, and great but great singing from Justin. After “Girlfriend” the centre of the stage is taken by Richie, and here is something I wasn’t expecting at all, a wonderful cover from AC/DC “Highway To Hell” and “Thunderstruk” awesome cover’s from the band as for richie’s performance. This first cover was one of the highlights from the concert to the majority of the audience, everybody knew this two songs and were able to sing along with the band, but for me The Darkness concert highlight were about to arrive.
The concert at this time was almost at its end. “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” followed and what a great song live. Justin falsettos in this one were awesome, great guitar’s as for the drums and bass guitar. Almost everyone knew this song from MTV, and were able to sing it. When the song reached it’s end my friend Pedro told me that probably that have been the last music from The Darkness and I couldn’t believe it, since it was one of the Highlights and I needed to hear and see with my eyes “Bald” live, my favourite The Darkness song. Justin once again comes into the centre of the stage and tell us “So you are looking forward to Guns N Roses tonight hun!?” and a huge “Yeahhhhhh” is the response from the audience and I screamed with my friend Pedro “Nooooo!” right, we were there for The Darkness, off course i wanted to see Guns N Roses live, but today guns it’s not the same thing and The Darkness were Rocking on stage stealing the Rock In Rio festival for themselves. Then Justin added “Well are they the greatest band of all time!? Well that’s why we are here! We are going to play one more song, and than the stage is all yours okay? This song is from our current album, thank you very much for being here with The Darkness.”
When the guitar chords for bald start I went just mad, sing into every word of the song and once again jumping and rocking.
When the song reached its end I was completely Knocked Out, I thought that in 2005 summer I had seen it all with Queen + Paul Rodgers but surely I was wrong, because I never had been into a The Darkness concert.
That night, that show became my 2nd greatest show of my entire life. After Queen + Paul Rodgers and The Darkness I don’t believe that I will see something like that.
After Guns N Roses concert, that was powerfully, but not such powerfully as The Darkness. In overall The Darkness stole the entire Rock In Rio festival for them selves they are a massive Rock force on stage and they’re presence as musicians as for entertainers is in the Top.
The show was transmitted live on television and I was able to record it into DVD, and named it “One Way Ticket To Rock In Rio…And Back”.
To finish I would like to thank to all The Darkness community as for The Darkness for they’re Staying Power!
The Darkness set list : Arrival; Knockers; One Way Ticket; Is It Just Me?; Growing On Me; Givin’ Up; Black Shuck; Love on The Rocks With No Ice; Get Your Hands Off My Woman; English Country Garden; Girlfriend; Highway To Hell – Richie; Thunderstruck – Richie; I Believe In A Thing Called Love; Bald.