Considering it’s the city of rock, it’s a rare find to see a double headline show with two of the icons of this generation come to town. It may be a sub zero Tuesday, but Resorts World was soon to be on fire with the pyrotechnic delights bringing the stage alight as cult favourites The Darkness lit up the arena stage.
Coming up to a 20 year anniversary of ‘Permission To Land‘ the crowds reaction tonight distilled how iconic it was as the rifts kept coming and frontman Justin Hawkins undeniable tones captivating the arena as he strutted the stage in tight black jeans and shirtless opening with riffs of ‘Growing On Me.’ We say undeniable, yet it was Hawkins who fooled the likes of Rita Ora when he had a stint on the Masked Singer as her beloved Chameleon and she crushed on his skin tight outfit over the weeks.
“It’s Very subdued for a Tuesday night in Birmingham, isn’t this meant to be the city of rock and roll or are you all mesmerised by my physique??”
With the crowd treated to the classics ‘Love is only a feeling‘ and ‘Get Your Hands Off My Woman‘ he treats the crowd changing into a trademark lurex rainbow catsuit a handstand on the drum podium complete with leg claps sending the crowd into a frenzy arms clapping in the air. As the unmistakable riff fills the air he stops abruptly and tells the crowd to put their phones down. “Don’t record this for your mate who couldn’t be bothered to come here tonight, they’ve missed out put them down and enjoy your night”.
With take two of biggest hit ‘I believe in a thing called love‘ setting the arena ablaze, the Lowestoft foursome know how to rock, flashes of pyro crash down like cymbals, leaving the crowd eagerly wanting more , not wanting the UK Icons to end as the encore of ‘Love On The Rocks‘ completed this phenomenal set with Justin’s infectious guitar solo within the arena being carried through the adoring crowd on the shoulders of a burly bodyguard.
With the crowd at fever point it was time to pass the baton across the pond to their Kentucky counterparts. We’d first caught rockers Black Stone Cherry at Ramblin Man Fair way back in our youth, their poignant lyrics and musical ditty they knew how to bring a party. The curtain lights up awaiting their presence as Sam Smiths ‘Unholy‘ fills the air, as the curtain drops Into the thunderous ‘Me and Mary Jane.’
The high octane rock sounds the audience crave don’t disappoint ‘Burning,’ ‘Blindman‘ and ‘Like I Roll‘ get the mosh pit energy flowing with fans chanting along. Sporting his huge weight loss frontman Chris oozed about his love of the U.Ks second city and how the band had played ‘BarFly‘ and always got a warm welcome. Complete with trademark trucker cap he gave an emotional and poignant speech and dedication with ‘Things My Father Said‘ as Resorts World lit up mobiles held high.
It wasn’t long before Steve and Ben were back energetically sprinting around the stage the energy rubbed off as the audience bounced away vigorously to the electric sounds coming from the guitars. Drummer John Fred held his own comfortably at the helm of the stage. Beating furiously on ‘Cheaper To Drink Alone‘ with the passion of the likes of Keith Moon or Ringo Starr the crowd watched as he didn’t skip a beat.
With both bands speaking in adoration of each other this Double Headline was what the city needed tonight, with UK and US fans young and old the fire powered set was coming to an end. As the crowd shouted for more it was time for one more, the Kentucky favourites reminding the crowd of the talent of the city and a powerful cover of E.L.O’s ‘Don’t Bring Me Down.’
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