The Darkness Receives “Permission to Land” in Kansas City

Justin Hawkins of The Darkness in Kansas City. Photo by Josh Chaikin

As the year slowly draws to a close, Kansas City is showing no signs of slowing down. With Cornucopia kicking off at the time of this writing, and a healthy roster of concerts, there’s more than enough going on to show that we are anything but flyover country.

An hour before doors opened, there was already a healthy line of people snaking down the block, hoping to find a good spot on the floor to see THE DARKNESS. With regular stops at The Truman, the gang from across the pond never fail to pack the room, with fans eager to rock out.

On tour, celebrating the 20th anniversary of their debut album, Permission to Land, there was a lot to celebrate. And what better way to do that than with some friends? Opening up were Missouri’s own COMANCHEROS. A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll, but one hell of a good time. With just three members, vocalist and guitarist Tanner Jones, drummer R. Michael Cook, and bassist Jon Green, the trio produces a sound you might expect if ZZ Top covered Motorhead. Though they all grew up listening to country, they always played in metal bands. The influences are clear, as is the reason that they were on this tour.

With a slew of originals, and a cover from ZZ TOP, and THIN LIZZY, thrown in, they certainly won over new fans. And those who can’t wait to see them again, don’t have to wait for long. THE COMANCHEROS will be headlining at Knuckleheads on November 4th

It was time for THE DARKNESS to take the stage. The crowd erupted as each member took to the stage; Dan Hawkins on guitar, Frankie Poullain on bass, Rufus Taylor on drums, and of course Justin Hawkins on lead vocals. Frankie wearing a flashy, sequin suit, and Justin wearing a onesie that could easily have been part of the Freddie Mercury collection, the show started before a single note was played.

The band plowed through their first few songs in rapid succession; Black Shuck, Get Your Hands Off My Woman, and Growing On Me. All three from their debut album Permission to Land. The high-octane set would have them playing their debut in its entirety, plus another dozen or so of their hits.

No Darkness show would be complete without antics, and there were plenty, including the auctioning off of Rufus’s freshly cut hair (after the band found Justin’s non-pube-trimming scissors). A treasure like that, would easily go for well over $1,000,000 (DrEvil.gif), and it did.

Even if one isn’t a fan, or familiar with their music, it is impossible not to have fun at a show put on by The Darkness. Their energy, sounds, and mayhem transports all onto a magical journey, where Justin is the maniac cruise director. Or at least someone who found a captain’s hat on the Lido Deck.

Words and Photos by Josh Chaikin

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