It was a splendid Melbourne night, kite surfers were out in force, and I had a hot date with Adam Ant. But as I approached the iconic Palais theatre it seemed I wasn’t alone on that date, but ah well, a girl can dream. Many turned out in full costume, and the line at the merch stand looked like a crazy casting queue for Pirates of the Caribbean.
Anticipation was building as I took my seat, in prime position of course, not wanting to miss any of the action that I had been waiting for since I was fourteen. Australia’s own Diana Anaid treated us to a great forty minute set, just a gal and her guitar, but what a big voice for a small package.
While 35 years may have passed since the release of the legendary Kings of the Wild Frontier it seems like yesterday for a self-confessed Adam Ant tragic like myself. The Palais Theatre had turned into a veritable ant’s nest and it was time for them to pay homage to their King. The buzz was electric as we watched the clock tick down to show time, the animated crowd on their feet as soon as the lights dropped. Opening with the Kings of the Wild Frontier in its entirety there was no time for talking as Adam and his band launched into Dog Eat Dog and the sensational Antmusic. Dressed in classic Adam Ant apparel of military jacket and buccaneer hat paired with leather pants and boots, he was looking sharp and I for one felt my heart skip a beat or two as Feed Me to the Lions rang out. With more rings than Liberace and his characteristic scarfs hanging from his belt it was difficult to tear your gaze away from this alluring front man as he strutted and swirled.
The sound was flawless and I had already abandoned my ear plugs after the first song which is rarity for me. Full credit to all involved in making the sound so pristine. It was with quick succession that Adam and the band made their way through the album, technically perfect at every turn. Adam still has all his signature moves and is not afraid to flaunt them, spins and kicks aplenty as song after song was delivered with gusto much to the delight of his adoring fans. Only after the completion of The Human Beings did we finally hear Adam’s voice with a hearty ‘Hello Melbourne’, but no time for rest it was straight into the hits part of the evening with Beat My Guest and Vive Le Rock. Prince Charming had everyone losing their minds as Adam pulled his trademark moves we all know and love. Duelling drummers giving us the sound synonymous to his music, making Adam and the Ants so popular throughout the 80’s. Even the guitarists adding an extra beat or two on floor toms from time to time.
Working the stage like a well oiled machine, Strip and Friend of Foe had the already vocal crowd whipped up into frenzy (myself included) as the hits kept coming, Puss ‘n Boots a definite highlight. The finisher was of course Stand and Deliver, giving us all a chance to have a sing-a-long and to appreciate just how much Adam Ant has given to the music industry over the last 40 years.
Everyone remained standing, chanting, screaming, yelling, drawing Adam and his fabulous band back on stage for just a few more songs. Donning a black t-shirt on his return to the stage and looking fresher than ever, it was hard to believe we were nearly two hours in to the gig. With endless energy and sex appeal we were treated to three more, my favourite of the night Goody Two Shoes, Red Scab and Physical.
With a wave good bye Adam disappeared into the darkness leaving everyone longing for more, yet feeling completely satisfied with what was delivered. As I contemplated this walking back to my car, yes, I was sad it was over, but boy was I glad that it had happened!
Review Contributed by Cassandra Hale