IMG_5027Adam Ant
Royal Albert Hall, London
17 May 2017
Live Review

photo:Eileen Shapiro

“The Royal Albert Hall has paid tribute to some of the greatest, most prestigious artists in history including: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, T-Rex, Mohammad Ali, Marvin Gaye, Iggy Pop, and The Nuclear Disarmament Conference, but never before has there been a more jubilant and explosive display of grandeur and musical decadence than the celebrated performance of rocker Adam Ant”

Apart from previously forecasting the ultimate destiny of post punk/glamorous rock, and offering a pulchritudinous, breathtaking, and heartbreaking allure, which still renders fans ( both male and female), hopelessly in love, the adored, time-honored artist, Adam Ant, once again triumphantly celebrated yet another flawlessly sublime performance in London.

The majestic rapture of the cherished, Royal Albert Hall, located on the northern end of South Kensington, was inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1871, and lends itself to an iconic flair, and inclination, becoming a perfect venue for the prodigious rocker to present his latest tour, “Anthems: The Singles Tour”. The historic arena has been the location of choice for some of the most notable events in British Culture, and has gained recent pop-culture notoriety, having been mentioned in the song, “A Day in the Life”, by The Beatles, and serving as the climax of “The Man Who Knew Too Much”, a film via Alfred Hitchcock. The transonic, charm and seduction of Adam Ant somehow brought about an entirely new meaning to the already treasured forum.

Adam’s collision with sensibility has granted him an overpowering energetic force field, spirit and charm, enabling him to influence anyone in his presence, through his musical aura. Although the unstoppable Antmusic hasn’t changed its attitude, it has reached a new era and an ultimate height of sophistication with the vast array of luminous florescence, lighting up the stage, and capturing the flamboyant ambience of the heroic warrior.

The magic and intrigue began outside the enormous arena, in the midst of a rain deluge, at approximately 9:30 AM, as the multi costumed, colorful fans, many whom I am proud to say have become dear friends, began to queue up. Several were conversing about guitarist Will Crewdson’s continuing live Facebook videos of the afternoon sound checks that he releases each day, adding to the anticipation of what is about to become one of the most eventfully sensational nights in the Royal Albert Hall’s existence. Others happily complained about their hearts dancing out of their chests with expectation.

All at once the band members arrived, each joyfully stopping to take photos with the crowd. Joe, with his new look of flaming , bright red hair, Will, in his ferocious pink framed sunglasses, Andy, in his quiet white T-shirt, and the newest member handsome, Adam Paul. Time passed quickly after that, and as the rain continued, the outlook of the fans focused on nothing but sunshine. Finally after the long vigil the doors to the monstrous arena opened, and the people ran to the front of the stage, similar to those rushing to get into Noah’s arc before the end of the world.

Without further delay the California based sparkling, support group, the “Glam Skanks” overtook the stage, looking more glittery than ever, prepared to give the audience a taste of all their glam and skank. Showcasing songs from their album, “Glitter City”, they musically exploded into an effervescent bliss, with Vee on guitar, Millie on bass , Cassie on the drums and Ali vivaciously singing lead. The all girl fascination proved a perfect prelude to Adam.

The Royal Albert Hall has paid tribute to some of the most relevant, prestigious , and luminous stars in the 150 years since its beginning. The Beatles and Rolling Stones performed together on the same bill in 1963, in 1965 Bob Dylan headlined, Eric Clapton, Iggy Pop, T-Rex, Mohammad Ali, Marvin Gaye, and in 1961 the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament took place, but none can compare to the tour de force and frenzied exhibition unleashed by Adam Ant.

The charismatic rocker took the stage running…I mean literally…looking like a flawlessly fit, audaciously styled, man of 30, he proceeded to visually dramatize each song with his animated acrobatics and his iconic expressions, unique only to him. There was not a person in the audience that could argue the point that he was singing only to them, a special quality specific to Adam.

Then of course there was the music…”Beat My Guest”, “Vive Le Rock”, “Dog Eat Dog”, “Apollo9”, “Ant Music”, “Puss N Boots”, “Stand And Deliver”, “Prince Charming”, “Goody Two Shoes”, “Kings”….after all, this was the “Anthem Tour”. By definition an anthem is designed as, “a song that has importance for a particular group of people”, or “a song of loyalty or devotion”, or “a rousing or uplifting song identified with a particular group of people”, and in every case that fits the bill. He showcased both “A” sides and “B” sides, however in Adam’s case, since they are all so well known, each can be mistaken for either. He continued with “Room At The Top”, “Young Parisians”, “Wonderful”, “Strip”, and “Greta X”, but he didn’t stop there either. He then went on to sing “Gotta Be A Sin”, one I had never heard him do live, and also one of my personal favorites. The music, the emotion, the overwhelming, flamboyant extravaganza, continued for nearly two hours, and then there was still an encore.

Adam’s vocal ability, although always remarkable, seems to become further impressive with each tour, as does the synchronicity of his band. They appeared to be at their very best without exception. Joe wildly and outwardly uninhabited completely rocked out, leaving that bass untamed, and unrestrained, while Will led that guitar into unchallenged territory, furiously scrutinizing each poignant note. The newest band member Adam Paul, impressively melted compassionate and emotional rhythms matching the other’s madness. Adam turned up the volume on his guitar, relevantly adding feverish hysteria corresponding to the already harmonized instrumental magic. Drummers Andy and Barbie doll/ Marilyn Monroe, Jola, frantically and passionately pounded those beats, throbbing those vibrations flawlessly. If that wasn’t enough, two drums were added to the stage whilst Joe, Will and Adam Paul, all multi instrumentalists took turns thrashing them as well to the introductions of several songs, creating a contagiously incredible new and original sound.

The gig wasn’t without a sudden innuendo of unscripted excitement, when a fan bounced onto the stage out of nowhere and attempted to steal a kiss from Adam in between songs. No one, including Adam seemed rattled by her mission, and it appeared to add some delirium to the fantasy.

The most joyous part of the entire performance for me, and mostly all of the fans, was the fact that Adam seemed incredibly jovial and happy, bursting out into huge smiles, and visibly enjoying his unblemished, immaculate stage experience. It was obvious he and the band were having a blast, as was the complete 5,000 plus audience. After he sang “Kings of the Wild Frontier”, Adam faced the congregation and without words dispelled a deeply emotional, devoted, and touching sense of appreciation and humbleness which added to the glory of the compelling performance.

The Royal Albert Hall can adjoin Adam Ant to its collection of proudest moments in its overall roster. For those in the U.S. you’d best not hesitate to purchase your tickets immediately for September, as this show is destined to sell out swiftly!

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  1. Great review….totally summed up the night.. .my friend and I waited 35 yrs for that moment…we were 12 at the height of the Ants and sadly never got to see them live….we were beyond excited and were seriously not disappointed….the band filled some big shoes perfectly…met them after….so humble and friendly….but the man himself…good Lord.. .the boy still got it….rekindled the love affair we felt when we were young….still got the slightly arrogant swagger that we all love.. ..welcome back Adam….i bow in the presence of rock royalty thankyou xxxx

  2. We saw him at the Bristol hippodrome last Sunday, he was brilliant . The glam shanks also lit up the stage too. We would love to be going to see him again!

  3. Great review. What a night, and a perfect setting! Adam got the mix of punk, Kings and pop numbers just right. Shame they didn’t do Cool Zombie as it would have gone down well too. The band are so tight now, as they have been since the Dirk and Kings tours. Can’t wait to see what he does next. About time he released the album that was announced over a year ago and a tour afterwards wouldn’t go amiss…

  4. Nice review rob.
    Hes a showman, absolutely fantastic live with a back catalogue thats still cool in todays times.
    Vive le rock indeed.

  5. Totally agree with the review,absolutely amazing night,he hasn’t lost any of his magic. What amazes me is the wide age range,some of the audience weren’t even born when his music was first released.

  6. I can’t wait to see him in Australia, booked tickets for Brisbane and Fremantle, well it is not often and only a 5 hour flight between shows.

  7. Great review, summed up the show beautifully….quite simply, Adam Ant is one of the best performers you will ever see…..miss him & you’ll regret it. Fantastic repertoire of music & unlike anything you’ve ever seen!

  8. Every review I see makes me ever more glad that I have my tickets already in hand for September at the Baltimore Soundstage in the U.S. So stoked for this concert!!!

  9. Your review about sums up the this amazing tour. Adam and the band are not to be missed. This is the best show I have ever seen! I am looking forward to him coming back to the USA for the next leg of the tour. He will not disappoint.

  10. Many years ago I ventured from Sheffield, to see Adam and the Ants in hull , alas the gig had sold out … I got stranded on Doncaster station , having missed my connection , so I was homeless for 8 hours aged 17 !!!!

    Now aged 54 I ventured from Torquay over to Plymouth , in a home made shirt and westwood pirate boots …

    It was great to go , get in and love the set …

    In life we all have downs , we all have falls , we all suffer to a degree from illness and depression and internal wiring issues …

    The gig for me proved that we can all come back dandier stronger and unplug those wires and try another flavour …

    I wept with joy at how we have grown and yet how we can all still be ant People

    Ps I got a lift back home from Plymouth and skipped up the road to my house and bed … mission accomplished


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