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The Darkness permitted to land at Columbus’ Rock on the Range

30 p.m. May 20.

British glam rock band The Darkness broke into the United States music scene in 2003 with its hit song “I Believe in a Thing Called Love.” About nine years later, after being listed on Billboard’s Top 100 chart for alternative songs and heatseekers albums, the band is aiming to make believers of Columbus fans.
The Darkness is scheduled to perform at 2:30 p.m. Sunday on the main stage at Rock on the Range, held at Crew Stadium, located at 1 Black & Gold Blvd.
The band began with its record “Permission to Land” in 2003. Three years later, The Darkness broke up for reasons such as drug addiction and artistic differences, and it reunited in 2011 with its original members.
Members include Justin Hawkins on lead vocals and guitar, his brother Dan Hawkins on guitar and back-up vocals, Frankie Poullain on bass and back-up vocals and Ed Graham on drums.
Poullain described The Darkness’ music as English eccentric rock.
“There is a bit of Monty Python in there too,” he said, in reference to the British sketch comedy group that spawned a television show, films, books and other memorabilia.
Drawing its inspiration from bands such as Queen and the Carpenters, Poullain said The Darkness “(likes) tapping into that time when you are coming of age.”
The band’s hit song, “I Believe in a Thing Called Love,” and most of the others songs off “Permission to Land” were about a woman who Justin Hawkins was in love with, Poullain said.
“It was Justin when he was in love,” Poullain said. “Quite a few songs are about that woman.”
The band is scheduled to release its new album titled “Hot Cakes” in August.
“It’s a bit more small town with a lot of heartfelt songs,” Poullain said.
“Hot Cakes” is based on the three necessities of life, Poullain said, “Food, sex and music make life worth living.”
Poullain said the band enjoys touring in the U.S. because of the way the crowd reacts to its performances.
“I love it, that is what it’s all about,” he said. “We met the Midwest, and everyone comes and forgets themselves.”
Poullain said the band tries to create an alternate universe in its live performance and Hawkins likes to contribute by doing scissor kicks and headstands during the band’s performances.
“We like to create a sense of euphoria,” he said. “We kind of create a rock-n-roll vortex.”
Poullain also said the band is looking forward to seeing how the audience in Columbus reacts to its sound.
“We are really excited about people who have not seen us before,” Poullain said.
The band is currently touring Australia and is scheduled to perform at Rocklahoma Memorial Day weekend in Pryor, Okla., after Rock on the Range.
The Darkness is also scheduled to tour Europe with Lady Gaga on her Born This Way Ball Tour scheduled for August through December.
Poullain said the band is unsure how Gaga’s fans will take to The Darkness.
“I have no clue how they will respond,” Poullain said.  
Some critics, such as Matt Pais, writer for the RedEye Sound Board, welcome the return of The Darkness.
“This group, largely dormant in the years since 2005’s ‘One Way Ticket to Hell … and Back’ failed to replicate the success of 2003’s ‘Permission to Land,’ has returned with every possible fire still burning, affectionately bowing to late ’70s/mid-’80s rock excess without making a mockery out of it,” Pais said.
Some fans of The Darkness said they enjoy its classic rock influences.
“They definitely take me back to my younger years,” said Ken Connolly, a fourth-year in business operations. “They have a couple of classic rock songs that are great for karaoke.”
General admission tickets are sold out for the festival. Tickets are priced starting at $59.50 plus a service charge for single-day stadium passes for Saturday or Sunday, and $114.50 including the service charge for weekend passes for stadium seating.

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