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Adam Ant w/ Brothers of Brazil @ Turner Hall Ballroom

Oct. 14, 2012

Oct. 16, 2012
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It’s been decades since Adam Ant toured North America. With Adam and the Ants and a solo career, his career soared into an intense period of “antmania” in the early 80s. That was followed by long periods of musical inactivity and in the early 2000s he occasionally spent time recovering in mental institutions. In 2010 he launched an ambitious and successful comeback, touring the world and writing material for a new album, Adam Ant is the Blueback Hussar Marrying the Gunner’s Daughter, which is due out in 2013.

After a quirky set by Brothers From Brazil, who described themselves as “punka nova,” all eyes were scanning the stage of the Turner Hall Ballroom to get a look at Adam Ant. He appeared, still dressed in his famous  1700s-appropriate “New Romantic” look, but he had traded in his war paint for glasses, grew his hair long and sprouted facial hair. He looked a lot like Johnny Depp dressed in Napoleon Bonaparte’s wardrobe. While eyes adjusted on this new Adam Ant, he seemed to be on unsure footing. He dropped the mic twice and after running through “Plastic Surgery” seemed to be winded and disorientated.

Then he snapped into it.

His vocal powers were still strong and he built good momentum with his ’80s material like “Cartrouble.” By the time he got to his first big hit, “Stand and Deliver,” he had convinced the audience the were observing genuine Ant music for Ant people and he got an enthusiastic response. His band, The Good, the Mad, and the Lovely Posse, did well.

Dual drummers delivered the rolling tribal beat that gave his hit songs such a strong energy. They helped bang out an enthusiastic version of “Kings of the Wild Frontier” while the crowd sang along. After the song he stared into the audience for some long moments, breathing deeply, then cued the band to play “Wonderful,” a light, dreamy love ballad from the last studio he recorded in 1995.

He did play a new song, “Vince Taylor” from his forthcoming album, which sounded like solid pop rock that will fit in well with the rest of Ant’s musical legacy.

The band’s shining moment was playing 1982’s hit song, “Goody Two Shoes.” It was a solid rendition but lacking something without the driving horn section that punctuates the song so well.

He had also did an adequate job with playing “Antmusic,”  “Strip” and “Desperate But Not Serious” and after an hour and a half ended with his humorous but catchy song “Lady,” a tribute to a nude woman.

The band returned for a five-song encore, including an excellent cover of T. Rex’s “Get It On,” “Red Scab,” and lastly,  “Physical (You’re So).”  As soon as he was done strumming the last chord to the song, Ant quickly walked offstage without a word or a wave and didn’t look back.


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