The Darkness LIVE at Paradise Rock Club – 1/19/13


Expert photography via iPhone.

One of my wildest dreams came true at one of my favorite venues in Boston a couple weekends ago. I stood in the VIP box at the Paradise as I watched hundreds of people attempt to reach the high notes in The Darkness’ “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” What, that’s not your wildest dream? Well, you’ve come to the wrong corner of the internet, my friend.

A friend of mine had been begging me to get tickets to see The Darkness ever since she found out they were coming through town. All I could remember about them was their fantastic sense of style and even more fantastic falsettos – obviously, I was sold right away. I was able to procure us a pair of tickets and a (surprise) pair of VIP passes through my super #swaggy connections and off to the show we went. Of course, beforehand, we drank a bottle of wine and a fishbowl. What, you thought I was going into this sober? THIS ISN’T THAT CORNER OF THE INTERNET, FREAK.

We hit the Paradise about an hour before their set, because we are not the people that enjoy jumping around in a sweaty mess of people and spraining our knees before the headliner even comes on. At the box office, I put on my most professional face, pulled out my ID, and said “We’re on some list… I think…” The girl behind the glass was so impressed that she gave me THREE tickets, TWO VIP passes and ONE MILLION DOLLARS. Wait, what?

Well, unfortunately for me, the million dollars were not available at that time. We strolled into the show feeling like those million bucks, though, because WE HAD VIP PASSES! Now what does that get you at The ‘Dise? Well, for this show, it gave us the privilege to stand in the VIP box on the balcony with the best view of the set, and a chance to meet the band afterwards. So many dreams were coming true that night.

Around 10:30, the band strolled onstage in some of the most gorgeous outfits I’d seen outside of fashion magazines. Justin had his signature double-V-down-to-the-crack spandex in a chic prison stripe, and the rest of the band was also there.

Now, when I was heading into this show, I was not expecting showmanship or impressive musical abilities. I was instead expecting loud, shrill high notes and frequent use of the distortion pedal. While my expectations were met, they were also WILDLY surpassed. The Darkness put on one of the most spectacular shows I’ve seen in a very long time. Strangely enough, I could actually feel the passion in Justin’s voice as he sang “Friday Night” (Lyric sample – “I used to sit next to you in school… We indulged in all the extracurricular activities.” WAT).

The crowd went wild the second the band came on. I genuinely felt like I had been teleported back twenty years and was watching Poison come onstage in Vegas. The screams were THAT high. Right off the bat, they jumped into “Every Inch of You” off their newest album, Hot Cakes. Although I am not a true Darkness fan and had not listened to the new album before that night, I swore to myself that I would learn every word after that performance. Still working on that.

Notable parts in the night came when Justin pulled a fan out of the front row and had him dance on the stage during the set. If you look really closely in the EXPERTLY TAKEN PHOTO ABOVE, you can see a fan dancing on the drum stand. I was so jelly I was jam.

The most important part of the night, however, came at the very end of the show. After the band came back for encore, I was feeling a bit miffed that they hadn’t played “Love on the Rocks with No Ice,” which I believe is their very best song. Halfway through, Justin jumped on the shoulders of Cody, a fan with whom he made an intimate connection throughout the show, and RODE HIM THROUGH THE AUDIENCE. He literally rode him. He told him where to go and when to stop. He also had him sing “Love On the Rocks.” I was so jelly that I had officially turned into marmalade at that point. He then proceeded to climb UP TO THE BALCONY, JUMP OFF, CLIMB UP A POLE, CROWD SURF, and finally make it back to the stage to finish the last chorus of the song. Video evidence can be found here. (Credit to YouTube user jasonkorolenko). If you weren’t enthralled when watching that, you are not a human being. My apologies.

After the show ended, we stood around for about thirty minutes while the band “took showers.” Since we were 21 year old girls and definitely the youngest people at the show that night, we decided we no longer wanted to be skeeved on and left without meeting the band. Also, my knees were throbbing from standing up. Yes, I am an old woman. (Contradictions.)

So, the moral of this very LONG story is, if The Darkness ever comes through your city, you MUST see them. They are fantastic showmen, and weirdly, better musicians. Check out their new album Hot Cakes by clicking here.  Your face will melt from the rock.

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