The Darkness To Say 'Hello, Cleveland!' On Spring Tour

British hard rockers' 18-stop U.S. trek kicks off March 26 in Milwaukee.

Like nearly every English band, the Darkness dream of conquering the United States. And they say they've only held off because they didn't want to schedule meet-and-greets and then have to sit around a table waiting for someone — anyone — to greet.

"It just wasn't worth coming before," explained frontman Justin Hawkins, whose band has finally scheduled 18 U.S. shows, with many more to come. "Playing America was always a priority, but say we did a show in Pittsburgh and no radio station played us. We wouldn't sell any tickets and it would be absolutely pointless. Now lots of stations have added our songs, so it's worth saying hello to those people."

The band's U.S. tour kicks off March 26 in Milwaukee. Dates

are scheduled through April 19 in Denver. Shortly after the September release of their debut album, Permission to Land, the Darkness played nearly a dozen shows in major North American cities. The new tour will bring them to such smaller markets as Providence, Rhode Island; Tempe, Arizona; and Cleveland — where the bandmembers hope they don't get lost under the stage a la Spinal Tap.

"It will be nice to show people what we really do, because I think a lot of people see the video or hear one song on the radio and don't get the whole picture," guitarist Daniel Hawkins said. "We're actually a hard rock band and we, like, rock hard."

Permission to Land has sold almost 185,000 copies and has perched at #55 on the Billboard albums chart for the past two weeks. The Darkness' second single, "Growing on Me," will probably go to radio near the beginning of the tour.

The Darkness tour dates, according to Atlantic Records:

  • 3/26 - Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave

  • 3/27 - Chicago, IL @ Vic Theatre

  • 3/28 - Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall

  • 3/30 - Cleveland, OH @ Peabody's Down Under

  • 3/31 - Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Laga

  • 4/2 - Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of Living Arts

  • 4/3 - Boston, MA @ Avalon

  • 4/4 - Providence, RI @ Lupo's at the Strand

  • 4/6 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club

  • 4/8 - Atlanta, GA @ Cotton Club

  • 4/9 - New Orleans, LA @ House of Blues

  • 4/11 - Houston, TX @ Engine Room

  • 4/12 - Dallas, TX @ Trees

  • 4/13 - Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa

  • 4/15 - Tempe, AZ @ Marquee Theatre

  • 4/16 - San Diego, CA @ Canes

  • 4/17 - Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theater

  • 4/19 - Denver, CO @ Ogden Theatre