The idea of going to a gig on a school night, especially a Monday, can sometimes feel like you need a full-on boost for your energy levels and to get hyped! I don’t think anyone could do it better than Danko Jones, The Darkness and Black Stone Cherry who got Glasgow crowds live and absolutely buzzing at the iconic OVO Hydro.
Canadian trio Danko Jones, opened up the night with their unique, fun, and energetic hard-rock style. They instantly connected with new local fans as they expressed how much they loved the City of Glasgow and often play at their favourite venue King Tuts. The trio is formed with Rich Knox on drums, John Calabrese on bass, and of course Danko Jones on lead vocals and guitar, showing us his talent of spitting out his lyrics at 30mph during the track ‘Lovercall’ which also shows off the power of Calabrese’s bass. The Toronto trio did a fantastic job at setting the tone for the rest of the gig ending on their hit ‘Little RnR’ giving us a taste of the hard rock, meets punk, and fun sounds.
Electric, eccentric, and enthusiastic. The Darkness came to slay! Apologies in advance to any massive Darkness fans but as someone who only knows two songs (yes, one of them is ‘The Christmas Song‘), this is a band I would 100% go and see time and time again. Lead singer, Justin Hawkins had your mind blown from the minute he walked on stage, from his colourful personality, eye-catching outfits, and mesmerising moves that would entertain you in a style similar to the legend Freddie Mercury. Ironic that he reminded me of the iconic Queen legend as The Darkness Drummer, Rufus Taylor is no other than the son of Queen’s very own drummer, Roger Taylor.
With pyro flames and an assortment of fireworks throughout their set the heat was truly increasing from their stage presence, interaction with the crowd, and of course adding their music to this made this gig true to the Darkness’ styles: unique, memorable, and unexpected. Opening with ‘Growing On Me’ into ‘Black Shuck’ the crowd was well and truly partnered with the band echoing and singing back.
With Hawkins’ operatic high notes being flaunted with ‘Love Is Only A Feeling’ to the classic hit ‘I Believe In A Thing Called Love.’ We also had the flawless backup vocals and guitar from Justin’s brother Dan and on bass with Frankie Poullain, these Brits know how to rock and know exactly how to get a Glasgow crowd roaring. We even had Hawkins jumping on their crew’s shoulders walking through the middle of the crowd showing his outstanding talent by playing guitar behind his back!
For anyone who doesn’t know the Darkness, it won’t take you long till you were joining in – the atmosphere was out of this world and is one I’ll definitely look forward to attending again in the future.
CC: Louise Andrew
Finally the second headliner of this gig, it was going to be a tough one for following in terms of energy but Kentucky rock band Black Stone Cherry brought it, and brought it hard. Opening with their hit ‘Me And Mary Jane’ also blasting out fog pyros the energy was met with Ben Wells on guitar, leaping and jumping from every side and angle that stage had, with Steve Jewell on bass, and lead singer Chris Robertson going from the stage to joining the second level of their set engaging with the crowd. Kentucky Southern Rockers also joined by John Fred Young on drums who you could see the passion pouring out of him, particularly during his drum solo.
A special and extremely intimate moment was when Robertson invited the crowd to join in his personal journey of healing through the loss of his Father as the band moved us with ‘Things My Father Said’ – gave me full body goosebumps as you could feel the hearts of those around you being moved by this beautiful song of memory and love.
Another special moment was hearing the debut new single release from the American Rock Band as they performed ‘Out of Pocket’ followed by their absolute belters: ‘Blame It on the Boom Boom’ and ‘Lonely Train’.
Finally, in the last iconic moment (out of many) fans were treated to the last song of the evening, a cover of Electric Light Orchestra’s ‘Don’t Bring Me Down.’ For this well-known song, the boys have given it the justice it deserves while not losing their individual sound of country meets rock with the unique Black Stone Cherry taste.
I met fans from opposite sides of the country, one from Inverness and another from The Borders – and after this night you can truly see why!
Here are my top songs of the night by all three bands:
Danko Jones – Little RnR
The Darkness – One Way Ticket
Black Stone Cherry – Blind Man