The Darkness at The Trocadero Reminds Us Why We Believe in a Thing Called Rock

We have been hooked on British rock band The Darkness ever since their smash hit “I believe in a thing called love” invaded the airwaves back in 2003.

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Their first two albums spawned countless hit singles, tour dates, and awards but despite all the fame and fortune, the band members went their separate ways in 2006 with the departure of lead singer Justin Hawkins.

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After over five years apart, The Darkness united and released their third studio album “Hot Cakes” last August… and oh are we happy they did! Once again a long North American tour was planned in support of the album and on Tuesday, May 21st, that tour came to an end. The final show was played right here in Philadelphia at the legendary Trocadero Theater.

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Hours before the show kicked off at 8pm with an opening set by Sweatheart, we hit the Trocadero to have a chat with The Darkness’s bass player Frankie Poullain.

You can check out our exclusive interview right here:


Sweatheart’s set was short and sweet, wrapping up by 845pm. After a 30 minute break, the lights dimmed (for several minutes) and The Darkness took the stage to chants of “Darkness! Darkness!”

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Hawkins, Poullain, Dan Hawkins, and Ed Graham took the stage bathed in a dark green light, all four members holding hands at mid-stage as the audience continued to chant. Moments later the lights came up, the band took up their respective instruments and opened their set with “Every Inch of You”, the first track off of “Hot Cakes”.

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As he did the last time the band played at The Troc in 2012, Justin Hawkins concluded the opening number by climbing to the second story balcony and diving off into the crowd (crowd surfing back to the stage).

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The next hour was a hot mess of quintessential rock music and the quirky asides of the lead singer. He engaged the crowd at every turn, be it comments about his leotard (or other potential wardrobe choices), a three minute rant about the best way to part his hair, British lingo, the end of their tour, joking insults about particular audience members, or several call-and-response singing sessions. The fans ate up every single minute of it.

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The vocals of Justin Hawkins were masterfully accompanied by the sparking guitar riffs, tight bass lines, and pulse pounding drum beats of his band mates.

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Their set ended, in fitting fashion, on “I believe in a thing called love” at which point the band left the stage. Of course, no rock band can end a show, let alone a tour, without a final encore. Moments later, again to chants of “Darkness! Darkness!”, the band returned to play a multi-song encore, which including bringing Sweatheart onto the stage with them for a one song collaboration (which was somewhat of a train wreck).

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As all good things must, the show eventually came to an end, but not before The Darkness reminded us why rock n’ roll is still very much alive and kick drumming.

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[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]

You can view an expanded photo gallery below (click thumbnails to enlarge):

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