The darkness continued their 20 year anniversary tour for Permission to land, with a stop at the Masonic venue in San Francisco. Upon entering the venue, there was a huge line at the merch stand that had a lot of fans walking into the stage area wearing tour merch. I lost track of the amount of people I heard walking in say they were “very excited” for the show and even met some folks who had traveled around and caught multiple shows of this tour.

I’ve had the opportunity to catch The Darkness on their last tour, but there was something about this one that was different than the last. It was a huge trip down memory lane that turned the show into a giant sing along. Teenage me would be very stoked to know that 20 years later I’d be getting to photograph and witness the greatness of this band. Justin Hawkins gave a theatrical performance that made the show so much fun to be a part of.The band played the entirety of Permission To Land in the same order of the album, which had their hit, I Believe In A Thing Called Love as their 4th song of the night. I have to say that I absolutely loved how intimate and interactive he was with the fans this time around. In between songs and even during a few songs- he would reach out into the audience to grab notes fans would pass down to him and would even chat with a few fans in between songs. I was also very excited to see the outfit changes he would bring out this time around and he definitely didn’t disappoint. Kicked off the show sporting a bright, shiny yellow/green suit then later changing into a skin tight latex body suit with a deep V cut that went a bit past his bellybutton. The boys made one last outfit change for their encore when they returned to the stage wearing robes accessorized with wet hair. The encore felt like a different little side show on it own. They played a few obscure songs that only a few hardcore fans knew and even finished off the night with their song Christmas Time which everyone was stoked for. There’s no denying that after all these years this band still knows how to put on an unforgettable show. Justin Hawkins vocals still give me goosebumps and make it feel like I was witnessing a modern day Queen. Do yourself a favor and catch their amazing performance any chance you get!


Natalie Baeza

Natalie is a photographer based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.