Review by Laurie Whitecloud
Well it’s been a really long 8 years since The Darkness has played live here in the U.S. I’ve already planned on a Southwestern state road trip to hit some gigs when my friend Dori – who went with me to see the boys off on the Rally to Hell – offers to buy me a ticket to New York (the ticket, not the plane fare) since I bought her ticket to Phoenix! I’m all over that like hot syrup on pancakes. Let’s rock!
Dori has made a fashionable new catsuit for the occasion. On the train ride over to the gig, I tell her she should tweet her pic of herself in it to Justin and ask for a retweet. So we giggle and she sends the tweet to Justin, and almost immediately there’s a retweet posted. Sweet!
We found our friend Brandi, another diehard TD fan, and are walking around the block when all of a sudden Brandi goes “There’s Frankie!” – a lo and behold, there was the Frankster! So we manage to catch him to ask for pics and signage for my badass beaded Darkness medallion, which he asks if I made and I said yes. He remembered a pic that Brandi had made him 8 years ago, and that made her night! He also complimented Dori’s catsuit and then he really had to get inside – he was late! Then, we chat up Sky from Foxy Shazam for a little bit and try to help him locate somewhere to eat in the area. Then we meet some other friends in line in front of Irving Plaza and wait for doors to open.
It was the longest wait ever! We had a nice chat with Michelle, aka Flaming Priest from the former Flaming Priest TD website, and her friend Melissa, and of course Mistress Boo and Dre and their friends were there. FINALLY, doors open at a little past 8 and we’re off to the barrier! It ends up just being me, Brandi and Dori parked on Dan’s side of the stage, and everyone else has taken off to stake out their places.
Well, Crown Jewel Defense tried their best to win over the tough New York crowd but some people in the balcony were chanting “No more songs!”, which was unfortunate. The lead singer just shrugged it off and said just one more song, then Foxy Shazam would be on. I like CJD, but I think most of the people were just anxious for TD.
Foxy Shazam was next. I was curious to see which songs from their new album “The Church of Rock n Roll” would be played, and how the crowd would react to THEM if they didn’t like CJD. But my boys Foxy ended up rocking the house and won over some new fans. Songs that were new were Holy Touch, The Temple and I Like It. They also played The Only Way to My Heart is With An Axe, Oh Lord, Rocketeer, and Killin It. Eric also managed to do his famous lit cigarette-eating routine, which was sorely missed by me in London. Awesome show, guys!
Tick tock, tick tock! It’s like David Lee Roth in Hot for Teacher “Aw man, the clock is sloooooow!” The waiting is the hardest part, as the great philosopher Tom Petty once said. We’ve been treated to a screen with different videos and images on it in between sets, but now the guys behind me are chanting “Raise the shit!” (meaning the video screen!) and we’re now singing very loudly along to Just What I Needed by the Cars, the The Boys Are Back In Town. The excitement is palpable! Then the sweet sounds of Arrival are finally heard. I’m doing the arm wave to this as is customary in the UK, but my countrymen need to learn this move!
AND THEN THERE THEY ARE!!! Dan, Frankie, Ed and Justin! THE DARKNESS IN THE USA, FINALLY, AGAIN! Sorry for all the caps, but it needs to be screamed. The crowd goes apeshit and Justin just stands there, cool as fuck with the Darkness sunglasses from the Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Video shielding his eyes from all the adoration and he’s wearing his brand-spanking-new catsuit with stars and stripes. Captain America ain’t got nothing on him!
They rip in Black Shuck and they have the crowd eating out of their hands for the rest of the gig. The new tunes are really stellar and I can’t wait for the new album! Video can be had at You Tube, but I think the songs besides NGSU and Out of This World are She’s Just A Girl and Everybody Have a Good Time. I know all diehard TD devotees know that most of PTL was played, and OWT and Is It Just Me from OWT, but the biggest surprise was the addition of Physical Sex to the setlist! I have an affinity for that song as it is my favorite B-side and of course, touchyfeelywoman is my screen name at Darklings. I was happy!
Random observations: Dan was extremely bouncy at the gig. Not just his hair, but he was literally jumping up and down at the gig. They all were really happy! Some people in the crowd started chanting for Justin to “Take it off! Take it off!”, so of course he had to take off his vest! I had to leave the 2nd row near the end of the set because it got way too hot and the idiot next to me wouldn’t stop crowding me. Long story short, I managed to get back inside after IBIATCL and Bareback, then stayed near the edge of the crowd for Justin’s walkabout during LOTRWNI. He came right in front of me and so I touched his elbow. Very proper, me! lol! Then he jumped onto a platform right beneath the balcony and continued to solo, the very place where some drunk chick had crawled up and jumped into the crowd earlier. This crowd was nuts! Body surfing was everywhere. When Justin commented how loud Boston was, the New York crowd had to out-loud them lol! 😛
It was an epic evening. I didn’t hear one bad word about the gig. We wanted to hang around afterwards to try to say hi to the band, but Dori and I had to catch the last train back to New Jersey and Brandi had to catch her train too. Next time, fellas! and Welcome Back to the U.S.!! See, we weren’t lying when we gave you that petition when we said you had a lot of fans who wanted you back here. See you in Vegas!
Photos from this gig are now in the Gallery.