Who: Tour de Prance: The Darkness, Diarrhea Planet
Where: Royale, Boston, Massachusetts
When: April 22, 2018
At first glance, the lineup looked like a joke: an opening band called Diarrhea Planet and a headliner that flounced around in skin-tight outfits? Not only was this lineup real, but it resulted in a show that was pure rock ‘n roll.
Diarrhea Planet is a six-piece rock band hailing from Nashville, Tennessee. Even before the band went on, you could tell it was going to be loud based off of the four microphones that were set up. Diarrhea Planet was different from the second they stepped on stage because they have four guitars. Too many bands have only one guitar, which can fall flat in comparison to a band that has two guitars. Bands with three guitars are even better, but four guitars take the music to another level. Diarrhea Planet were deafening and so much fun. Their set was crazy; it was impossible to know where to look. The guitarist at stage right was whipping his hair back and forth while the bass player was climbing up on the speakers and flipping off of them in the back; one guitarist sank to his knees onstage and used his tongue as a guitar pick while another guitarist jumped into the audience and walked through the crowd while still playing his guitar. The show itself was a lot of fun, but the music was also really impressive. More technically intricate and involved than expected, Diarrhea Planet delivered impressive rock riffs galore with vocals that matched the stoner’s rock vibe perfectly. Diarrhea Planet put on an amazing set that was over much too soon. This is a band that fans of energetic rock n’ roll absolutely have to see.
The Darkness’ entrance to the stage was impressive without being over the top; this theme actually continued throughout the show and proves that everyone in the band is a truly great showman. The set started with “Open Fire,” which immediately got the audience grooving and clapping along. While The Darkness may seem like a farce to the uninitiated, their live performance proves that they are the real deal. There were impressive guitar solos aplenty and the drums were really good. Justin Hawkins is an excellent frontman. He kept the audience’s attention with seemingly no effort while also respecting them by giving them the show that they had paid to see. Early on in the set, Hawkins pointed out a yellow hat someone in the audience was wearing, which was immediately thrown to stage for him to wear. A song or two later, he took off the hat so bass player Frankie Poullain put it on instead. Other songs in their set included “Black Shuck” and “All The Pretty Girls,” which were audience favorites. No The Darkness show is complete without “Japanese Prisoner of Love” and especially not “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” which rounded out the night. The Darkness is a rock band with the music to back it up and a live show that should not be missed.
As fun and impressive as the show itself was, the venue lacked in a lot of areas. This was my first time going to The Royale, so I went up to a guard at the door to ask where I should go in order to pick up my ticket and photo pass. He responded with a condescending “Where’s your camera.” When I turned around to show him my camera bag on my back, I asked if will call was outside, and again got a condescending answer, this time about why would will call be outside. After I finally made it into the venue, I tried to enter the photo pit five minutes before the band was scheduled to go on, but was immediately told by the guard next to the stage that since the band was not on stage yet, I was not allowed in the pit yet, which I accepted to be venue policy. However, a male photographer entered the pit five minutes early and was not told to wait for the band to get on the stage; he was allowed to get into the pit, which makes it seem like the rule of waiting applied to me only because I’m a woman. I will admit that not everyone at The Royale was condescending; the woman working the coat check was an absolute pleasure, but unfortunately, the majority were not. I will see Diarrhea Planet and The Darkness again in a heartbeat, but I will not go back to The Royale.
Post and photos by Karen Shalev
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