Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Adam Ant at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom

photo by Michael Sanderson
Born in London, England, Stuart Goddard was born an only child, and his parents divorced when he was seven years old. His mother, formerly an embroiderer for a leading fashion designer, then supported her son by working as a domestic cleaner, briefly working for Paul McCartney. Goddard's first band was Bazooka Joe, in which he played bass; the pub-rock band lasted from 1970 to 1977, and was best known as the headliner at the first-ever Sex Pistols performance in 1975. Watching the Sex Pistols perform led Goddard to re-think his musical direction. Goddard changed his name to Adam Ant in 1977 and formed a band initially known as the Ants and then Adam & the Ants. Ant became a star of the British new wave and new romantic movements in the late 1970s and early 1980s. After three albums with Adam & the Ants, he became a solo artist in 1982. By 1985, Ant focused increasingly on an acting career, appearing in British plays and in over two dozen Hollywood films and television episodes from 1985 until 2003. After 16 years of recording silence, Ant's sixth and most recent album is 2013's Adam Ant Is the Blueblack Hussar in Marrying the Gunner's Daughter.

Two dates into Adam Ant's 17-city Kings of the Wild Frontier tour in January 2017, Tom Edwards, the band's guitarist and musical director, suddenly died. Ant postponed his New York City and Philadelphia performances and recruited guitarist Will Crewdson as a quick replacement. Tonight's concert at Webster Hall's Grand Ballroom was a make-up date and the final show of the slightly extended tour. As the house lists dimmed, the musicians took their places and the audience heard the thick Burundi beats from the dual drummers, Andy Woodard and Jola, already defining Ant's distinctive sound. Joe Holweger provided the bass line and the band launched into "Dog Eat Dog," the opening song of Adam & the Ants' second album, 1980's Kings of the Wild Frontier album. A goateed Ant sauntered on stage wearing his Hussar cavalry-styled jacket and oversized hat and scowled into the microphone while bouncing to the tribal rhythms. With hardly a moment for breathing, Ant performed the entire album, took a brief break, and returned for a greatest hits revue. His vocals were stronger and crisper than when he performed at Irving Plaza two years ago, and his energy was unequivocal. For about two hours, the spry 62-year-old Ant deftly commanded the stage much like he did in his youth. After 26 songs, the only missing repertoire seemed to be "Young Parisians", "Apollo 9" and his BBC-banned "Strip."

Visit Adam Ant at www.adam-ant.com.

Setlist:

Kings of the Wild Frontier
  1. Dog Eat Dog (Adam & the Ants song)
  2. Antmusic (Adam & the Ants song)
  3. Feed Me to the Lions (Adam & the Ants song)
  4. Los Rancheros (Adam & the Ants song)
  5. Ants Invasion (Adam & the Ants song)
  6. Killer in the Home (Adam & the Ants song)
  7. Kings of the Wild Frontier (Adam & the Ants song)
  8. The Magnificent Five (Adam & the Ants song)
  9. Don't Be Square (Be There) (Adam & the Ants song)
  10. Jolly Roger (Adam & the Ants song)
  11. Making History (Adam & the Ants song)
  12. The Human Beings (Adam & the Ants song)

More Ant Music
  1. Beat My Guest (Adam & the Ants song)
  2. Christian D'or (Adam & the Ants song)
  3. Stand & Deliver (Adam & the Ants song)
  4. Vive Le Rock
  5. Cartrouble (Adam & the Ants song)
  6. Desperate But Not Serious
  7. Zerox (Adam & the Ants song)
  8. Never Trust a Man (With Egg on His Face) (Adam & the Ants song)
  9. Lady/Fall In (Adam & the Ants song)
  10. Goody Two Shoes
  11. Prince Charming (Adam & the Ants song)

Encore:
  1. Red Scab
  2. Get It On (T. Rex cover)
  3. Physical (You're So) (Adam & the Ants song)