Two decades after storming the rock scene with their iconic album “Permission to Land,” The Darkness have embarked on a celebratory journey, resurrecting the raw, unfiltered energy that won them legions of dedicated fans back in the early 2000s. Making their unforgettable stop in Detroit’s Saint Andrews Hall, the legendary rock act delivered a performance that was nothing short of extraordinary. The venue was brimming with an electrifying atmosphere, one that only a band of The Darkness’s caliber could manifest.
Before getting into the night’s happenings, let’s hit rewind and take a look at the “Permission to Land” album. Released in 2003, this album became an instant classic and a milestone in modern rock history. From chart-topping hits to garnering an array of awards, “Permission to Land” proved to be a catalyst for The Darkness, catapulting them into rock stardom. The blend of glam rock, hard rock, and dashes of heavy metal made this album a unique blend that was both fresh and nostalgically familiar.
It received critical acclaim, with several of its tracks becoming anthems for a generation. Its impact on the rock genre is undebatable, serving as an inspiration for countless artists and bands who dared to follow their own musical inclinations rather than conform to the mainstream.
There’s something to be said about the aura at a rock concert—especially when the crowd is so dialed in that the very building seems to pulsate with excitement. This year, Saint Andrews Hall hosted what could be dubbed one of the most energetic crowds ever. A roaring sea of fans filled the space, each attendee eagerly awaiting the thrill that only The Darkness can deliver. Every lyric, every riff, every drumbeat—this crowd was living it, singing their hearts out and filling the venue with a fervor that left no room for doubt: Detroit loves The Darkness.
Justin Hawkins, the band’s frontman, was the human embodiment of stage charisma. Some artists need a few songs to really get into the groove, but not Hawkins. The moment he stepped on stage, the audience was his. With a blend of engaging stage presence and genuine love for his craft, Hawkins proved that some people are simply born to rock.
The band rifled through a setlist featuring iconic songs from “Permission to Land” such as “Growing on Me,” “Best of Me,” “Making Out,” and the always electrifying “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” Each song was performed with an energy that reverberated through the venue, elevating. The Darkness managed to transport everyone back to a time when rock was rebellious, cheeky, and—above all—a downright good time.
The show wasn’t just an ordinary gig; it was a beautiful celebration of an album that has stood the test of time, delivered by a band that remains as dynamic and irrepressible as ever. It was a night of nostalgia, of present joy, and of a future that promises more good things to come for The Darkness and their indomitable fanbase.
The Detroit stop of The Darkness’s 20th-anniversary tour for “Permission to Land” was a resounding triumph. It was a night that showcased the enduring allure of an album and a band that have become pillars in the rock community. The exuberance of the crowd, the magnetic performance of Justin Hawkins, and the timeless quality of the music coalesced into a spellbinding experience. After 20 years, “Permission to Land” has lost none of its magic—and neither has The Darkness.
So here’s to another 20 years of unforgettable rock moments. The Darkness have certainly earned their wings, and Detroit was the perfect city to honor such an illustrious legacy.