Black Stone Cherry + The Darkness @ Resorts World Arena, 31st Jan 2023.
Opening the show for Black Stone Cherry and The Darkness on Tuesday evening were Canadian hard rock trio Danko Jones. They treated the growing crowd to a fast paced thirty-minute set of rock n’ roll.
Currently touring the UK as part of a co-headline arena tour, Black Stone Cherry & The Darkness are two bands whose sound and scope has deserved the chance to be heard in huge venues but are often restricted to smaller halls or higher profile support slots. But there was certainly no question by the conclusion of Tuesday evenings show that both are clearly grasping the opportunity with both hands.
From the moment that The Darkness took to the stage, complete with a silver shimmery curtain donning the band’s logo, it was clear that they had come to Birmingham to do some serious business. And by serious business that meant a **** load of pyrotechnics.
Almost every song of the hour-long set was complemented by either fireworks, flame throwers, sprinklers or lead vocalist Justin Hawkins’ dazzling stage get up.
Whilst the best received moments of the set were obviously tracks from debut album ‘Permission To Land’, the entire show was complemented by a showmanship and excitement that rarely gets seen in the live arena. From handstands, cowbells and guitar solo’s across the crowd there was constantly something to watch and proved just why The Darkness can in fact play to such large crowds and should continue to do so long into their career.
Following a fantastic set from The Darkness, it was time for Kentucky rock band Black Stone Cherry, who have built a large live following in the UK, and Tuesday evening was a demonstration of the fruits of their labour.
Taking to the stage shrouded by a stunning white curtain, as the curtain dropped the band shot out of the gates with an hour long set jam packed full of hits. Opening with ‘Me & Mary Jane’ and ‘Burnin’, the majority of the material was made up of tracks from ‘Between The Devil & The Deep Blue Sea’ and ‘Folklore & Superstition’ with individual tracks featured from the band’s remaining albums.
A newly chiselled lead vocalist and guitarist Christ Robertson highlighted his smooth and powerful vocals, whilst the rest of the group provided a shot of adrenaline, constantly running about the large stage and all acting as showmen in their own right.
Clearly having an affinity with the city having played a number of venues here in the past, tracks such as ‘Soulcreek’ and ‘Things My Father Said’ received huge sing-alongs. With the touring music market getting ever more difficult for artists, the fact that multi band bills of a calibre such as this are occurring is great news for the fans.
Review: Dan Earl
Photographs: Chris Bowley
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