Before we get started, here is what you need to know about Adam Ant: he is, was, and ever shall be a rock star.
He was the original Dandy Highwayman, a cultural lightning rod and, first with a band as Adam & the Ants and then as a solo artist, (unwillingly) associated with New Romantic movement.
Captain Jack Sparrow looks like him, not the other way around.
In 1985, he left the music business to be an actor, and did not return to the musical stage for almost a decade. From 1993 onwards, he enjoyed some musical successes and weathered many non-musical trials and tribulations, until 2011, when he returned in earnest.
All of that is to say, when I saw his name float up in my concert listings a few months ago, I was surprised he was playing again – I missed it when he came through in 2012 – and more so that he was appearing at Irving Plaza. I love the place, but it is a shoebox.
Actually he did two nights at Irving Plaza. I went to see him on the second one, and it was amazing.
The openers were Prima Donna, from California. They were a lot of fun, and had a solid punkabilly vibe lightly spiced with surf guitar. Also they have a great crowd sing-along song where one of the lines in the chorus is I am a sociopath.
Here are some pictures of them:
And then: Adam Ant & The Good The Mad & The Lovely Posse. He sounds great and looks great and we jumped and sang along and danced as much as we could, jammed in as we were. Prince Charming, which came at the end of the main set, was transcendent, with the big drums rattle-roaring and the room singing.
As I wriggled my way out into fresher air for the encore, I got a good look at the rest of the crowd, and I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite that many 40ish people grinning helplessly at the stage before. Everyone there was just so happy to see him, and it was awesome to be part of that energy.
Plus he played Goody Two Shoes which was totally my jam when I was a twelve year old nerd who desperately wanted to have a dramatic, mysterious inner life.
Some pictures of him and the Posse members I could see:
The tour isn’t over yet! Check the dates and catch him if you can.