This man barely needs an introduction if you have paid attention to music over the last few decades or, like me, just happened to be alive at the right time. Like most, my memories started young. Amazing songs and music clips to stimulate and engage, we would be absorbed into his world of fantasy. A unique fantasy of theatre, intense drums and envy inducing good looks. Finally, it was time to hear all these Adam Ant songs live and I just couldn’t wait, the anticipation was eating away at me for a while before the gig even started, and MY GOD, was this worth waiting 30+ years for. Last night was just magnifique…
I had been following the current New Zealand portion of the tour, and knew that his last two US and UK tours had been sold out, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit. Add to that the fact that fans have been following him around NZ and Australia (just being dedicated fans), trying to cram as many Adam Ant gigs into their schedule as humanly possible. It’s no surprise again, as they know talent and what a phenomenal live show is all about, and believe me, this is one cracker of a live show. Top tier, live music at it’s best, and why Adam Ant is such an icon, and deserves such loyalty and admiration. To think that this was a 35 year celebration of the ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ album is just crazy.. what a treat to get this whole album live plus all the rest.
The double drums take hold and it’s on.. ‘Dog Eat Dog’ belts through the Enmore Theatre in Sydney as the first of the ‘Kings of the Wild Frontier’ album songs kicks in.. not many words that can beat wow. So much to take in and hubba… hubba…. hubba. I don’t ‘hubba hubba’ very often but in this case, it’s a must. I’m usually against cloning but in the case of Adam Ant, I’ll make an exception. Talent and gorgeousness like this should be replicated. Ageing? What ageing? Taking notes is going to be difficult but I’ll keep trying, while dancing and watching all the numerous guitars and drums and theatrics.
The pace of the concert is just ferocious. High energy and deep, layered instruments. I’m already thinking how the live versions of these songs are beyond the recorded versions. The recorded songs are amazing but live, it’s just so… exceptional? The next track ‘Ant Music’ of course tears the place apart, being such an 80’s anthem and one of the first songs I remember. Adam and the band rip through the album with incredible zeal, all the way through including many faves like ‘Ants Invasion’, the ever entrancing ‘Killer in the Home’, ‘Don’t Be Square (Be There)’ and the pirate fave ‘Jolly Roger’.
By the time we finish the album with ‘The Human Beings‘, I’m barely catching my breath and have to muster up all the energy I have left to dance through all the other tracks. How can they fuse tribal drums with a pirate theme and alamo/western undertones so damn successfully? Amongst all the other themes too? I love the alamo guitar sounds even more live. It’s like I’m watching a movie along with this sensational live music action. My notes are ineligible by this stage, chicken scrawl, but I’ll keep at it. I know what other gems are about to come blaring through the speakers.
No rest for the wicked as they say. It’s a smorgasbord of ‘Beat My Guest’, ‘Vive Le Rock’, along with other personal faves ‘Friend or Foe’ and ‘Desperate But Not Serious’ coming up next. ‘Prince Charming’ didn’t disappoint. Not one song did the whole night. I love me some ‘Strip’ and too. Well, not much to not like! I see many arms over stretching the barrier trying to get a little touch from the stage, female and male. Such is the appeal of this pioneering musician. I always get a kick out of seeing grown men let their barriers down at gigs when confronted with their idols. Let it all out fellas!
And how can you not? It isn’t just the 80’s classics like ‘Stand And Deliver’ and ‘Goody Two Shoes’ that rounded out the evening, we have some blistering guitars on ‘Lady/Fall In’, ‘Red Scab’ and finishing with ‘Physical (You’re So)’ that take it another level higher yet again.. Aaahh great way to finish up such a sensational night. Leaving us with wanting more. No one is even remotely interested in going home. I’m so pleasantly wrecked, I feel like I need a full body massage. I can only imagine how Adam and the band were feeling as they gave us more than just 100%, this was just live perfection. A visual and aural delicacy. Every one on stage was brilliant and Adam was inspiring, animated and never missed a beat. A true performer. Such an absolute joy to experience and observe.
Well, how soon can he tour again? Hard to not be so greedy.. To be able to write such damn good songs, be a great musician, interact in such a special way with his audience but also be a great dancer (and be highly pleasant to look at) is rare indeed. This is the ‘whole package’ people and the entire night was like the most glorious thunder and lightning you have ever heard and seen in your life. Just power, imagery and raw talent embedded with fun and spectacle. I can’t wait to get another fix of this one day, and I’ll pray it’s much sooner than later.