“Prince Charming, Prince Charming. Ridicule is nothing to be scared of” For Adam Ant and his fans those lyrics have defined his career for decades. Coming out of London’s punk rock scene in the late 70’s he defied every rule of punk – he dared to be pretty and fun! That’s back when British bands either performed in rags or suits with little in between. Adam marched to the beat of his own two drummers a feature that quickly became as distinctive as his clothing choices and makeup..
His music and style resonated with fans, 16 year old yours truly included. The stripe of paint became a badge of honor and we did not care what others thought. That spirit was quite visible at the Pantages Theatre Sunday night. We all had gotten older and many of us hadn’t stayed as slim as Adam Ant. Some fans were in full costume. But while some of the vintage t-shirts may not have fit anymore, the spirit and excitement prior to the show was evident.
The evening started with a swift kick in the Glam Skanks (yes you read the band name correctly) with the subtlety of a glitter tornado. The all female 4-piece band’s sound is straight forward rock delivered with lots of energy and tons of stage presence. I felt sorry for the person on the spot light at the Pantages last night. Singer Vanessa McNiel roamed all over the stage and other band members stepped up for solos making keeping track of where the spotlight should be quite challenging. Glam Skanks released their latest single “Don’t Waste It” just a few days ago. This is a band that makes you want to jump out of your seat and yell “USA! USA!”- they are that much fun.Adam Ant’s set started with a musical intro and what seemed to be a bit a microphone trouble. Ant stayed cool through it and by the second song all was forgotten. For this tour Adam Ant is playing his first solo album “Friend or Foe” and followed those by his hits and some deeper cuts. He introduced “Dog Eat Dog” with “Here’s a little song you might well enjoy”. The double drum intro to ‘Ant Music” got the few fans that remained in their seats out of them. Watching the 2 drummers work the complex sequences in unison was impressive. And “Prince Charming” added 2 more drums to the mix.
Through the set Adam Ant seemed almost playful on stage. The sound was both simple and complex. None of the horn sections that were found in his later work. Drums and guitar dominated and it went over quite well with the crowd. My personal favorite turned out to be “Ants Invasion” the live version being even more driving and creepy than the record. Adam Ant and the crowd kept the energy up through the entire set even with the large number of songs performed. Energy peaked during “Stand And Deliver”. So if you walked by the Pantages after 10 PM on Sunday and heard music and strange singing that sounded like “Nad dee dee lee qua qua” coming from the building – that was us. We were back to being glamorous kids and were having a blast.
Set List: Friend Or Foe / Something Girls / Place In Country / Desperate / Grump / Hello / Goody 2 Shoes / Crackpot / Made Of Money / Cajun Twisters / Try This / Marco / Dog It Dog / Kick / Antmusic / Vive Le Rock / Zerox / Car Trouble / Ants Invasion / Prince Charming / Strip / Lady – Fall In Kings / Beat My Guest / Stand And Deliver Encore: Press Darlings / Red Scab / Physical