The Darkness

House of Blues, Feb. 17

A-grade butt-rock never sounded better. Or looked better, as falsetto-voiced, garb-changing frontman Justin Hawkins—decked in skin-tight, red-white-and-blue leathers—preened and strutted onstage like a young David Lee Roth on Bolivian marching powder. “Black Shuck” (from the quartet’s 2003 breakout debut, Permission to Land) totally killed, causing dozens in the audience to cell-cam the moment. Fans were treated to cowbell-crazed riff monster “One Way Ticket to Hell” and, after Hawkins removed his shirt and donned a top hat, acoustic ballad “Holding My Own.” But it was when the crowd carried Hawkins across the room as he continued playing lead guitar that it crystallized: Las Vegas loves these British glam rockers; and the Darkness loves this rock-hungry town right back. ★★★★☆

Suggested Next Read

The Bloody Villains


The Bloody Villains

By Jarret Keene

Las Vegas needs a new “high-energy” garage act like the Strip needs another luxury mega resort. That said, these greasy, pompadour-ed rockabilly hounds, who play like punked-up KISS, put on one helluva good show. The Bloody Villains wielded enough fist-pumping, attention-grabbing riffs—such as “Killing the Time” and “Caught with Meat in Your Mouth”—to keep you engrossed. Frontman Greg Verdusco unleashed plenty of James Williamson-grade lead guitar lines between verses, giving his band an ominous sonic aura.



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