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THE DARKNESS, DIARRHEA PLANET In Cleveland, OH With Photos!

By Geoff Ketler, Cleveland Contributor
Friday, April 20, 2018 @ 7:44 AM


The “Tour De Prance” North American Tour Hits Rock Capital Of The World On Induction Night

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All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography

The City of Cleveland was buzzing with activity. The Rock Hall inductions were taking place, baseball had returned and the Cavaliers were kicking off the NBA playoffs all while the British rock quartet heated things up in the cold, stale lake air at the freshly renovated Cleveland Agora. It only seems like yesterday that “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” was dominating popular radio and this fascinating, classic rock-sounding new band was taking the world by storm. Fast forward fifteen years, five albums and one lengthy hiatus and here we are, enjoying a fresh album and tour from one of the most quintessential 70’s style rock bands of our time.

Providing support on the North American leg of this tour was DIARRHEA PLANET. The Nashville-based punk band sports four guitarists – yeah four guitarists and a style that is frantic and soothing all at once. The band has described themselves as “pop played through the filter of heavy metal”. Yep…it is kind of like that. The rowdy set featured several members stage-diving and tossing their instruments – a kind of softer DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN show, if you ask me.

Setlist:

  • “Lite Dream”
  • “Separations”
  • “Heat Wave”
  • “Platinum Girls”
  • “Bob Dylan’s Grandma”
  • “Kids”
  • “Raft Nasty”
  • “Hammer Of The Gods”
  • “Emmett’s Vision”
THE DARKNESS did not keep us waiting too long as the lights dimmed and the Hawkins brothers made their way to the stage to a roar of applause. It had been a few years since my last encounter with THE DARKNESS and I would just like to point out that frontman-extraordinaire Justin Hawkins, besides sounding excellent, also looked excellent. His hair is long again, the braces are off and he looks like he has put on a little weight, merely making him look less peaked.

In the most SPINAL TAP way, Justin Hawkins was all done up in a leopard print, stretch-fitted onesie and stylish high-heeled boots. The rest of the band was pretty mute in comparison, although his brother, Dan Hawkins traded solos with him throughout the night. Bassist Frankie Poullain was draped in a golden disco suit, which paired well with his afro and mustache. It is also worth mentioning that the newest member of THE DARKNESS, Rufus Taylor is the son of royalty - Roger Taylor of QUEEN. Rufus, alongside Dan and Frankie were stellar, although they take a back seat to Justin’s stage antics. The toe-touches, power stances and jumps were ample. Justin’s guitar tech deserves an award for constantly running Les Paul white customs back and forth for Justin’s solos.

The set focused on new material with several of the hits peppered in. Highlights included the up-tempo “Black Shuck”, “Barbarian” and of course, the mega-hit “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”. During the encore, Justin Hawkins hopped on his tech’s shoulders and headed out into the audience, which had completely packed the lower level of the Agora Theater. THE DARKNESS seems to age like a fine wine. Justin’s vocals were spot-on and his prancing and antics are the emphasis of the night of non-stop entertainment. They may have been inducting new Rock Hall members down the street, but the real rock show was right here. Don’t miss this tour.

Setlist:

  • “Open Fire”
  • “Love Is Only A Feeling”
  • “Southern Trains”
  • “Black Shuck”
  • “One Way Ticket”
  • “Givin’ Up”
  • “All The Pretty Girls”
  • “Barbarian”
  • “Buccaneers Of Hispaniola”
  • “Friday Night”
  • “Every Inch Of You”
  • “Solid Gold”
  • “Stuck In A Rut”
  • “Get Your Hands Off My Woman”
  • “Growing On Me”
Encore:
  • “Japanese Prisoner Of Love”
  • “I Believe In A Thing Called Love”
  • “Love On The Rocks With No Ice”
Check out some more photos from the show!
All Photos By Geoff Ketler/Aces High Photography


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