Tuesday, April 27, 2004

The Darkness Weekend

The Darkness
Henry Fonda Theater, Hollywood, California
April 17-18, 2004

Editor's Note: This is the last Darkness rant Umlaut will issue for at least 2 months. Promise. Hey man, I DON'T have a problem! I can quit any time I want...

I fully intended to document The Darkness Weekend in proper Umlautian fashion. But when I got home from the road trip I was tired so I let it slide. Now over a week has passed and I should have struck while the iron was hot. As compensation, this newsletter is enhanced with visuals:

Note the band's tour bus, their semi, AND the Capitol Records building. So Ca-lee-for-nee-ahh Lock 'N Loll.

A Close Encounter of The Darkness Kind: In person, The Darkness look the way Rock Stars are supposed to… They are tall. All of the lads are at least 6'2".. They are towering the way Rock Stars should be… They look tall sitting down. But they genuinely seem like nice small town English blokes thrust into the limelight. Not like when you meet, say, the drummer from a certain multi-platinum band whose name rhymes with Metallica.

They all made eye contact AND had firm handshakes. They listened when spoken to and responded in kind. I believe it's what's known as communication skills. It's a valuable trait in The Real World and I think it's an asset in The Rock World too.

Celebrity Sightings: The drummer from the Foo Fighters, Billy Duffy of The Cult, and film director Jim Jarmusch (!). I also recognized a guy standing at the soundboard as having been a Jet crew guy a couple of weeks before in S.F.. I know... It's pathetic when you recognize the roadies. But I only have myself to blame.

Cutest Couple: A 12-year old boy wearing his just-purchased Darkness tour shirt sitting with his dad, who was wearing a Queen shirt. If you attended a 50 Cent concert would there be a kid whose dad is wearing a Rick James shirt? Doubt it.

On Saturday afternoon we stalked the band at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset Blvd. On Saturday night we stalked the band in the alley behind the venue after the show. On Sunday there were an inordinate number of Iron Maiden shirts in the crowd. Danzig shirts seen = 1.

On the way back to San Francisco some pimply-faced teenagers called me a fag. Beer count for the weekend = 5. Being in the midst of 1,200 people all singing "Get your hands offa my woman, motherf*cker" is the closest thing to The Passion of the Christ I'll experience all year. The Darkness had me at "whence".