This show fell into the time period I refer to as “Halloween or Tuesday?”, in which, due to New York’s ah, vibrant populace, it is sometimes hard to tell if the person / group of people wearing what appear to be costumes are on their way to/from a Halloween party, or if they customarily rig themselves out in, say, top-hats, tails and corsets just to make a quick run up to the store.
So when Sweatheart came out in their vaguely Medieval-looking outfits, you could probably see the Hmmm thought bubble floating above the crowd. I wasn’t really sure but was willing to come down on the side of Halloween. (I was also wondering what The Darkness would come up with as Halloween costumes.)
As soon as the next band came on, though, it became apparent that we were not at a Halloween show, and snakeskin bodystockings, furry cuffs and monk robes were just Tuesday for Sweatheart. (Or Sunday night, as the case may be.) I appreciate that kind of ridiculousness in a band. They had excellent tunes, too, raunchy and hilarious in equal measure and driven by big crunchy riffs. And to top it all off they had a puppet playing the keyboards:
The Dirty Pearls were next, and they swung the pendulum back a hair or two in the direction of Very Serious Heavy Metal. They also had great tunes, including a particularly good ballad. (Heavy metal love songs are my weakness, yes they are.)
And then it was time for The Darkness. I really love The Darkness. They have all of the things I love(d) about glam metal – sing along choruses, shredding, big riffs, ridiculous outfits – and they manage to, I don’t know – revive? celebrate? acknowledge? – the genre in a way that’s playful, knowing, and funny but not mocking. Attending their show is a genuine joy, from overhearing serious discussions about Poison in the line to joining the crowd in singing along to a A Thing Called Love.