15 September 2017
Sound Board @ Motor City Casino
Some guys just don’t have the quit in them — Mr. Ant (pictured) is one of those guys. Ever since the late 70s, when he got screwed by his first label (Do It! Records) and Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols manager) stole his band, he’s been out to jam it up the arse of the music industry. He’s still doing it, and he thankfully brought his Anthems Tour and his sexy new hired guns to Detroit.
I was much curious to see what this show would be like. Adam has had his struggles with bipolar disorder and medication (he was even arrested for allegedly throwing an alternator at a guy through the window of a London pub), so you never know. But Adam is on an extended comeback now, and this time out he stuck primarily to songs that were issued as singles throughout his career. Not really sure how anthemic these tunes are, but it was great to experience them performed live by the master new-wave auteur.
No one could escape his hypnotic eye as he and his young gunslingers pounded through a 25-song set of Adam’s unique brand of cos-rock. Fueled by the power of two bashing drum kits, these guys (and Jola, the fabulous female drummer) tore the roof off the dump. From the opener, “Beat My Guest,” the crowd were clearly with Adam and these Ants. Even the man himself seemed impressed with the crowd as we sang along and chanted enthusiastically where appropriate. He kept coming to the edge of the stage and doing a freeze-frame, stare-down pose, as if checking to make sure we were for real.
The highlights for me came on the older tunes for which Adam brought out a black Les Paul and jammed like it was 1979. “Car Trouble,” from his first record, and “Xerox” (ooO-Ooo, Xerox mo-sheen… Ah!), along with the international smash “Ant Music” from Kings of the Wild Frontier and the tour de force single “Stand and Deliver” sound as fresh today as when they created the Antmania sensation in the early 80s. Guitars covering the original horn parts on tunes like the retro-spastic hit “Goody Two Shoes” really worked, and I about lost it when he closed with the grinding fetish dirge “Physical (You’re So).”
Thanks, Adam. A good beating really is where it’s at.