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The Darkness @ The Tivoli, Brisbane 19/10/2022

Brisbane music fans were in for a night of high-octane rock ‘n’ roll with UK rock icons The Darkness drawing out a capacity crowd at their midweek gig at Brisbane’s equally as iconic music venue The Tivoli.

Over their 20+ year career, The Darkness has become synonymous with the pure essence of rock, breathing a whole new life back into glam metal and heavy rock.

Bringing their 2021 album, Motorheart to the fans, the band wrapped up their Australian tour on Wednesday night in true Darkness fashion.

The Darkness have lived the epitome of a rock n roll life covering all the highs and lows that befit the genre. Line up changes, addictions, recoveries, massive hits and struggles to keep it all going. Despite their challenges, one thing was evident on this wet and windy ‘school night’ gig – their fans love them faithfully and unconditionally.

With the current line-up of original members Justin Hawkins, Dan Hawkins, Frankie Poullain along with epic young drummer Rufus Taylor (son of Queen’s Roger), The Darkness have not only stayed current in the world’s giant pool of mass-produced music, but they have also continually taken rock by the balls and held up the essence of what this genre represents. Big riffs, exploding drums, killer bass and vocal dexterity defines a classic rock voice. And that is exactly what the crowd were in for at their final Aussie show.

But first – we need to talk about The Southern River Band.
One of the best things about international touring up and running again is the chance to get in early to check out our local talent and maybe find your new favourite local artist. I am more than confident to say that, judging by the crowds’ (and later the headliner’s), response to TSRB, many indeed, discovered their new favourite Aussie band this night.

The Southern River Band are Cal Kramer, Dr. Dobbin’ Donny Carter, Pat Smith and Todd Pickett. Imagine a musical stew where you took a little bit of Def Leppard, Status Quo, Rolling Stone, The Black Crows and Queen and seasoned it with a big dose of Aussie rock flavour from Skyhooks to AC/DC to Stevie Wright. What a feast.

For those old enough to remember, let me take you back to a day (the ‘70s) when the Ted Mulry Gang were one of the hottest touring acts in the country. The Southern River Band have the same Aussie larikin spirit, entertaining storytelling and authentic rock soul that gave TMG its iconic reputation.

They opened their set with Second Best winning the crowd over with frontman Kramar (looking like he just walked off the set of Stranger Things) oozing charisma and winning the crowd over by the first chorus. The band are as tight as a drum, performing like seasoned pros. Kramer’s hilarious random crowd banter advising everyone to never buy a pie at Canberra airport, had the crowd hooked.

Taking the punters on a journey through their tracks from the bluesy Chasing After Love (I’ll Burn A Hole In Your Shoes) to the fully charges Cigarettes (Ain’t Helping Me None) TSRB had The Tivoli eating out of the palms of their hands. They played, joked and rocked through their set blowing everyone’s musical minds along the way.

Kramer is a rock star in looks and sound. Shirtless with studded leather pants, he had the crowd hooked in with their ballsy track Chimney. The band don’t miss a beat and was having as much fun on stage as the almost capacity crowd. Headbanging their way into the hearts of Brisbane music fans. They took the set out with big guitar riffs and belting drums on Vice City II. The crowd were happy and showed their love with a roar.

It wasn’t long before the crowd had refilled and refreshed and found their place for the show. The Darkness didn’t keep the fans waiting for long.

Their entrance onto the stage was hyped up with the befitting musical introduction of Abba’s 1975 instrumental track, Arrival, belting out across the crowd.

The Darkness have an army of faithful fans and they were ready to see the band hit the stage. Their arrival on the stage had the crowd moving to throw their horns and headbanging to the opening track Motorheart. Dynamic frontman Justin Hawkins worked the stage like the seasoned pro he is, showing off his famous vocal skills.

If you had to define to someone what pure untarnished rock sounded like you would play The Darkness. Growing on Me had Hawkins using the stage to its full potential playing directly to the fans. His love of being on stage comes through in his lively banter with the crowd. The fans take on this energy with a playful vibe running through the floor.

More from the latest album with Welcome Tae Gasgae then back to the early days with One Way Ticket bringing out the pipes from their faithful fans. The song ends with a riff explosion then we go back to the new with It’s Love, Jim. The band are the epitome of rock n roll. They wear their image like the icons they are, Guitarist Dan Hawkins with his Thin Lizzy t-shirt and leather jacket, Frankie Poullain pulling off the glitter and glam with his sparkly jacket and Rufus Tiger Taylor belting away at the back like the star drummer he was born to be.

An eager fan threw a bra on stage and Justin puts it on backwards drawing out cheers from the crowd, wearing it through the next few tracks. They gave Give It Up the ‘boogie woogie’ treatment with a bluesy tempo through the first half of the song.

They then welcomed their guitar tech Ian Norfolke on stage, with a semi-acoustic addition to Heart Explodes. The crowd responded, hands high clapping along to the opening beat reminiscent of Queen’s Radio Ga Ga. They played non-stop through tracks old and new including epic tracks Barbarian, Love Is Only A Feeling and Japanese Prisoner Of Love. Friday Night had the Wednesday night crowd singing along in mass.

The band took everyone back to where it all started with their debut single Get Your Hands Off My Woman, with the frontman jumping into the crowd. 

His agile antics took him from standing on the hands of the fans to climbing onto the balcony and diving into the waiting hands of the crowd below. 

With the night almost done Justin, back with the band, called The Southern River Band back onto the stage and gave the lads massive praise. They led the crowd into their smash hit I Believe In A Thing Called Love asking that all phones be stashed away and to just enjoy the moment. The crowd were on a high and when the band left the stage they knew there was more to come. They returned with encore tracks Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) and Love On The Rocks With No Ice.

The fans left The Tivoli and headed out into the rain happy and fully satiated with their dose of The Darkness.

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BACKSTREET BOYS ‘DNA’ Australian Tour Dates, February and March 2023

BACKSTREET BOYS, the biggest selling Boy Band of all time (100 million albums), have re-confirmed the Australian leg of their DNA World Tour.

The DNA World Tour – Australia 2023 commences in Perth on February 25, followed by two shows in Melbourne on February 28 and March 1 and Sydney on March 4 and 5, winding up in Brisbane on March 8.

Tickets for all dates are on sale now. For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit: livenation.com.au.

For meet and greet information, visit: backstreetboys.com/events.

Having enthralled fans for more than 25 years AJ McLean, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough and Kevin Richardson will bring their signature, flawless choreography, harmony-laden vocal prowess and arsenal of mega-watt hits such as; “I Want It That Way’, ‘Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) and ‘As Long As You Love Me’, plus songs from their tenth studio album, “DNA”, to Australian fans early next year.

Touring in support of their tenth studio album and Billboard No: 1, DNA, the album features the Grammy nominated single ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ from Stuart Crichton (DNCE) and Jamie Hartman; ‘Chances’ penned by Ryan Tedder and Shawn Mendes plus songs written by Lauv (Charli XCX), Andy Grammer, and Mike Sabbath (J Balvin).

BSB analysed their individual DNA profiles to see what crucial element each member represents in the group’s DNA. Watch the video here, to see how their individual strains, when brought together, create the unstoppable and legendary Backstreet Boys.

That’s what I love about the DNA album,” says Kevin Richardson. “We were able to bring all of our influences and styles into one coherent piece of work. These songs are a great representation of who we are as individuals and who we are as a group. It’s our DNA. We’re really proud of that.

Produced by Live Nation, The Backstreet Boys DNA World Tour – their largest arena tour in 18 years – began on May 11, 2019 with sell-out performances throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. The blockbuster production features a pyramid-shaped stage of light, trap doors and giant video screens.

Vegas was amazing and the UK, European and US dates have been an absolute party,” says Howie D. “Now it’s time for us to visit our fans all over the world.” 

The journey is ongoing with us and there is so much left to do,” added Brian Littrell. “We’re living the next chapter that hasn’t been told yet, and that’s exciting.”

Praise for The Backstreet Boys live:

‘There are trap doors, giant V-shaped video screens, a pyramid-type stage of light, impeccable choreography, numerous outfit changes and a whopping 32 songs’ – The Guardian (UK)

‘Two hours of pop perfection were matched by impressive vocals, a perfectly pitched setlist and proper interaction with the crowd. An array of tracks from new album DNA slotted seamlessly into the repertoire, but never distracted from revelling in the riches of the past’ – Express (UK)

‘Backstreet Boys party like its 1999’ – Variety Magazine

‘The performance was a reminder of a time when pop music was at its finest’ – Daily Star 

The Backstreet Boys have spent the best part of two decades honing their craft, no other Boy Band compares.  For a night of pure nostalgia and entertainment, you do not want to miss them live in 2023.


The DNA World Tour – Australia 2023








For complete tour, ticket and VIP Experience information, visit:

backstreetboys.com & livenation.com.au

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The Darkness @ Forum Theatre, Melbourne 11/10/2022

Finally, after such a long wait since the Easter is Cancelled Tour was…well… canceled, our wait for The Darkness is over.   With COVID claiming so much from each of our lives, it is such a special moment to welcome back Justin, Dan, Frankie, and Rufus.

Now before welcoming The Darkness back to Melbourne in their opening show of the 2022 Motor-heart tour of Australia and New Zealand, the packed Forum, Tuesday night audience is in for a homegrown and very special treat indeed.  None other than the lads from Thornlie themselves, hard-rocking The Southern River Band. The pre-show stage darkness is broken by the unmistakable silhouette of the mullet from hell, marking the entrance of the brilliant Aussie Cal Kramer and the lads from the banks of the Canning River.

As The Southern River Band crank into their immediately thrilling set, one can’t help but wonder how much of the Aussie hard rock spirit that emanates from the Bon Scott statue at Fisherman’s Wharf in Fremantle has found its way into the music, the moves, the look and the feel of The Southern River Band.  Of course, everywhere TSRB plays, they leave with far more fans than they had when they arrived, but with the first song, it becomes abundantly clear that there were more than just a few fans of Rumour & Innuendo in this Melbourne crowd.

With the irreverent and unapologetic comical skills of Cal at the fore, the brilliant pounding and thrilling music of TSRB is always accompanied by a hilarious spattering of humorous intermissions that never fail to tickle the ocker in us all.

Every time this band takes to the stage, they seem to challenge themselves to do better than ever before. The remarkable thing is that they achieve it…always. This is the kind of support tour opportunity where a screaming Forum crowd, should by all rights guarantee a sold-out Watch Yourself Tour opener at the Corner on November 11th and a kick-arse national tour.

With stories from meth-ridden workmates when plastering worksites, to stealing the band intro thunder from the bass-wielding bandmates, to feeling like a sheep on a hobby farm, or the more malevolent edge to track about drug dealers where one can genuinely feel the drug-ridden underbelly of Gutterland, Australia oozing from their music into the daylight, the Southern River Band are never to be missed. Tonight, they gave Melbourne a small taste as to why.  Huge thanks to our hard-rockin’ heroes from the west.

But with a little tickling up of the stage and the affectionate coddling of instruments that musty surely be necessary to ready them for a thorough pounding courtesy of The Darkness, the wait is over. 

After a dramatic cinematic score introduces the atmosphere along with a fitting purple haze, the quartet enters the stage to an eruption of roars from the crowd as they open up with ‘Motor Heart’ and ‘Black Shuck’, Justin already delivering his quintessential high whilst flaunting his playful charm.

Accompanied by the equally talented ensemble, Justin Hawkins put on a stellar performance from beginning to end, amplifying his charm and wit, even donning a punky leather pest given by a fan in the audience. Movement and rock n’ roll presence like no other

Partway through the show, Justin broke into a famous Freddy Mercury-inspired call and response with the sold-out theatre of The Forum, even hilariously breaking into an operatic/jazz vocal performance which left every living thing in the room with a grin on their faces

After a rendition of Happy Birthday for an ambitious fan in the crowd, Justin playfully teases arguably the most awaited number of the night, ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’, right before erupting into the classic tune. Not to mention Justin abruptly halts the track right before the first chorus getting everyone to put away their phones and savor what was usurpingly a magical moment, before completing the song and walking off-stage

Closely following the amplified chants of the crowd demanding an encore, the ensemble breaks onto the stage once again, this time with Justin in a funky, country-like outfit while the rest of the band is damn near stripped down to boxers. The lights turn green and red as the group starts performing their festive tune ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End)’, joined by Cal of The Southern River Band accompanied by sleigh bells.

When we all thought it couldn’t get any better, Justin climbs onto the back of a security guard and surfs him through the packed Forum crowd shredding a long extended solo to their finale, ‘Love On The Rocks With No Ice

The Darkness can still be seen at the following dates: You wont regret it

Friday, Oct 14: Astor, Perth
Saturday, Oct 15: Thebarton Theatre, Adelaide
Sunday, Oct 16:  Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday, Oct 18: Kambri, Canberra
Wednesday Oct 19: Tivoli, Brisbane
Friday, Oct 21: Hunter Lounge, Wellington
Saturday, Oct 22: Powerstation, Auckland 

General Tickets On Sale Now From

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