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Adam Ant entertains enthusiastic fans with high energy show

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'80s icon Adam Ant entertains crowds on his “Anthem: The Singles Tour,” in 2018.

'80s icon Adam Ant entertains crowds on his “Anthem: The Singles Tour,” in 2018.

Michael Sanderson

Michael Sanderson

'80s icon Adam Ant entertains crowds on his “Anthem: The Singles Tour,” in 2018.

Sharlene Celeskey, Contemporary Culture Editor

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Adam Ant made an action-packed entrance as he dashed onto the stage at Celebrity Theatre on Jan. 28. He opened the show with the punk sounding, “Beat My Guest.”  The band was already revved up, ready to go and perfectly synced as they played explosive music without overshadowing their star.

The 63-year-old music icon danced and moved around the circular stage with boundless energy. His vocals were clear and spot on as he launched into one hit after another. The audience immediately jumped up, started dancing and continued all night long. The crowd wanted to have fun and to hear the ‘80s star’s large catalogue of hit songs (25). He played many of them as part of this “Anthem: The Singles Tour.” His trade mark colorful braided jackets and historical inspired dress had vanished and was replaced with a perfectly tailored leather hussar’s jacket. His flamboyant hats were gone as he donned a more classic upturned brimmed one. He kept his look dashing to reflect the mood of his hit songs but with a more contemporary touch.

Original fans and new fans united to create a positive vibe that filled the entire Celebrity Theatre. He continued with a string of hit singles. like: “Dog Eat Dog,” “Apollo 9” and “Ant Music.” “Dog Eat Dog” was one of his fastest songs, and he moved around slapping his knees. The music becomes more intense when guitarist, A.P. Leach and bassist, Joe Holweger put down their instruments and picked up drumsticks and accompanied drummers, Jola and Andy Woodard. The extra drummers continued to add to the quick pace for “Ant Music.” (That was the first video I saw on MTV and first exposure to Ant. I remember it felt like I was sucked into a kaleidoscope of frolicsome music, and I was hooked). “Vive la Rock,” sounded so lively that Ant danced while he sang, and the audience jumped up and down.

The hits kept coming fast and furious as Ant and the band never slowed down. When Ant played the guitar during “Prince Charming,” the audience joined in singing the chorus, “Prince Charming, Prince Charming.”

Ant the video star emerged, and he danced around the stage and the runway performing, “Puss N’ Boots.”  When Ant took off his leather jacket during, “Strip,” the audience screamed wildly. Then Ant played harmonica on, “B Side Baby,” a song that combined folk music with basic good old rock and roll. When I heard that unmistakable drum beat that opened my favorite song and video, “Stand and Deliver, “I knew it was the highlight of the show. Ant combined romance and action with hypnotic music to create the perfect song. The powerful drums evoked the sound of horses galloping, and you visualize the hero of the song, the highway man, riding and robbing throughout the country side. The entire band threw all their energy into the song and the pounding pulsating drums became very seductive. Although this could have been a perfect ending to an extraordinary entertaining concert, everyone wanted more.

The encore songs were some of the best. “Red Scab,” was B side. Ant took up the guitar, and the song sounded rather ominous with droning guitars. It evoked a post punk Goth sound that developed in the late ‘80s. The concert ended on a euphoric note with, “Physical (You’re so)” which was another B side and with a Goth punk feel. Excitement and intensity rose as guitarist Will Crewdson claimed the spotlight and displayed his expertise and skill on the guitar. It was as close to a classic guitar song as an Ant song got. It was a winner, and the perfect way to end a high-energy night.

The Glam Skanks opened the show and proved to be a hard rocking Girl Band of proficient and highly entertaining musicians. I had seen numerous concerts at the Celebrity Theatre over the decades, and the Glam Skanks were one of the few that performed on the theatre’s runway that lead to the stage. Veronica Volume ran down it and leaped into the air, and Vanessa Von Lust danced on, and a shockwave of excitement radiated throughout the venue. The exuberance which they played their hard-rocking glam music (from their debut album “Glitter City”) was infectious and the audience realized how good they were.  These girls really rocked their song, “Bad Bitch.” They owned the title and were not afraid to embrace it. The song had a definite ‘70s glam sound but updated and was one of their best songs of the night. An animated Volume really rocked out as she played her guitar. Drummer Cassie Jalilie beat the hell out of her drums on their hard rock songs, while Millie Chan banged her head in sync with her bass. Glam Skanks deserved to be taken seriously. The girls wore metallic booties and dressed in black. Whether they were wearing hot pants, crushed velvet leotard or a man’s style suit, they commanded attention and are a band you want to listen to. Overheard at their merch table, “Yes I want to buy a CD. This is girl power, and the Glam Skanks have empowered me!”

I left the show pumped up and on a musical high. Some say rock and roll is dead, but as along as Ant stills performs with energy and skill, and the Glam Skanks entertain with passion, there is no need to prematurely lament rock’s passing.

Set list

Intro (Prelude to Act 1 of Carmen by Bizet)

Beat My Guest (Adam and the Ants song) 

Vive Le Rock

Dog Eat Dog (Adam and the Ants song

Apollo 9

Friend or Foe

Antmusic (Adam and the Ants song)

Room at the Top

Desperate But Not Serious

Cartrouble (Adam and the Ants song) 

Zerox (Adam and the Ants song)

Young Parisians (Adam and the Ants song

Prince Charming (Adam and the Ants song)

Gotta Be a Sin   Wonderful

Puss ‘n Boots

Can’t Set Rules About Love

Christian D’or (Adam and the Ants song)

Strip

Kings of the Wild Frontier (Adam and the Ants song) 

Greta X

B-Side Baby (Adam and the Ants song) Unreleased

Stand and Deliver (Adam and the Ants song) 

Encore:

Goody Two Shoes

Lady/Fall In (Adam and the Ants song) B side to Ant Music (both)

Red Scab

Physical (You’re So) (Adam and the Ants song)

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Adam Ant entertains enthusiastic fans with high energy show