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Thursday, November 21

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Review Wed Oct 21 2015

Chicago Believes in a Thing Called Love

If you're a fan of glam rock, tattooed torsos, leather, guitar shredding and/or face melting, then I can only hope you were at the House of Blues yesterday for the Darkness.

You could tell it was going to be a great show from the get-go, when the group came onstage wearing the following: Hawkins in a pair of blue and white pin striped overalls, the straps of which he quickly shed to show off his tatted torso, guitarist Dan Hawkins in a leather jacket, and bassist Frankie Poullain in a seventies style pointy and gleaming suit with a bright red shirt underneath.

Hawkins is a sight to behold onstage, mugging for the crowd, constantly making eye contact and selecting one audience member to croon to. His mic stands were threaded with guitar picks, and he must have gone through at least 30 during the set, tossing them to the crowd in the transition between shredding on his guitar and blasting away in his falsetto.

The group mixed it up mainly between 2003's Permission to Land and their new album Last of Our Kind, playing "Givin' Up", "Love is Only a Feeling" and "Friday Night" but also throwing in hits from 2005's One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back with "English Country Garden" and of course "One Way Ticket to Hell...and Back."

The Darkness is, of course, best known for their 2003 hit "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and the band is clearly aware of this status. Hawkins ribbed the crowd a bit saying "Now we're going to play our first single...our first single in the UK that is. You all have to remember that this is different from our first single in the US. You all were a little late to the Darkness party" before launching into "Get Your Hands Off My Woman" during which the energetic Hawkins upended himself into a handstand by the drumset, showcasing those pinstriped clad legs and dancing upside down to the music.

The Darkness, with their guitar shredding, their energy, their fantastical persona and their showmanship, is a group that can appeal to a large audience base, and that was quite apparent at the show. All sorts of people were there, from suspender wearing hipsters, to leather clad metalheads sporting Metallica gear, to middle aged ladies sipping wine, to youngsters in the front screaming their lungs out, and while everyone was clearly waiting for that single, there was plenty of love from the crowd throughout, with almost every song becoming a sing-a-long between Hawkins and the audience. The group definitely knows how to please a crowd, and when they broke into "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" Hawkins essentially laughed his way through the track as the sounds of shaky (we're not all as practiced as Hawkins, who maintained that amazingly high tenor throughout the entire night) but super.enthusiastic. falsettos came bouncing right back at him from the crowd.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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