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Adam Ant in Clearwater: captivating, mesmerizing, and at the top of his game

Adam Ant

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Venue: Nancy and David Bilheimer Capitol Theatre-September 28, 2019

Words cannot express the excitement I had when I heard Adam Ant was returning in 2019 on his Friend or Foe Tour—and with another Rock At Night fav, the Glam Skanks.  Adam Ant returned to the Capitol Theatre, Clearwater, Florida, to a sold-out show on the eve of September 28th.  When I arrived, the lobby was crammed with concert-goers donning Adam Ant t-shirts from various tours—the 2012 Blue Black Hussar to the 2018 Anthems: The Singles Tour.  Adam Ant has been touring non-stop, it seems, between the US and UK.  In Fall 2017, Tampa Bay sorely missed Adam Ant to the area due to Hurricane Irma, but he kindly granted us a return concert in January 2018.

Jessica Goodwin of the Glam Skanks

The support band for the evening was the Glam Skanks—their second time on tour with Adam Ant. Anybody that has been following Rock At Night for a few years knows we truly support female-fronted rock bands—and the Glam Skanks are among our favorites.  The last time we saw the band, lead singer Vanessa McNiel had just joined up.  After seeing their performance, I would say the band is totally jelled—and very tight—as the songs were slickly delivered for a good 30 minutes.  We were treated to a few songs off of their new album release Anything in Between.  McNiel’s voice soared on  “No Way To Live” and “Pushed and Pull Me (Like You Do)” with harmonies provided by guitarist Veronica Witkin and bassist Millie Chan.

Vanessa McNiel and Veronica Witkin of Glam Skanks

The Glam Skanks’ style is definitely 70s hard rock or glam rock. Witkin sports a green afro and glittery eye make-up, while there is plenty of satin, shimmer, and silver booties donned by the rest of the band.  Hair was flying as drummer Jessica Goodwin kept the beat and McNiel strutted across the stage, sometimes acrobatically leaping into the air.  A real treat was the Glam Skanks rockin’ cover of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” and hard rock song “Bad Bitch”, from their last release Glitter City. The Glam Skanks are a solid, rock band—and the audience loved them, with many running to their merch table after to congratulate the band on such a great set.

After a brief intermission, the stage was totally darkened until the band appeared, and Adam Ant walked onto the stage, into the full spotlight.  Always a fashion trendsetter, he looked very fit in his navy blue military jacket, black trousers, wavy shoulder-length hair, pencil-thin mustache and goatee, and straw, wide-brimmed hat.  He had facial adornments (an “X” and penciled sideburns) as well as smoky eye shadow and black liner, encircling his striking blue-grey eyes.  A real live highwayman and swashbuckler! Adam Ant glided across the floor, stopped, vogued, swaggered, spun around, and strutted—always the consummate thespian and entertainer.  Adam Ant sang with perfect pitch, a fist full of strength, and of course, oozed sex appeal.  Women in the balcony levels were dancing, shaking their fists, wiggling, and I was waiting for a quick breast flash, as one hung over the balcony during the song, “Strip”.

Adam Ant

The audience stood on their feet during the entire concert, with many dancing, arm-waving, as Adam Ant covered the entire album (in order) of his 1982 debut solo album Friend or Foe. Many were  singing along to “Desperate But Not Serious”, “Goody Two Shoes”, and “Vive Le Rock”, as all were top hits in America in the 80s.  After he played “Hello, I Love You”, he smiled saying, “that was by The Doors.” He chatted a little between songs, and promised us a “hot” evening, and relayed little stories of a song’s origin like “Car Trouble” (he was inspired by his parent’s car) and “Red Scab” (by his first tattoo received when he was 31 years old).

Adam Ant delivered favorites penned during his tenure with Adam and the Ants, like “Dog Eat Dog”, “Zerox”, and “Ants Invasion”.  He asked the audience if we were feeling “hot or not?” saying he would slow it down with a ballad. After a brief  pause, he said in jest, “not really” and immediately tore into the punk rockin’ “Beat My Guest”.  The Ant Party continued with “Kings of the Wild Frontier”, as drummers Andy Woodard and Jola, wearing her distinctive mask and bouffant wig, pounded their drum kits.

Adam Ant ended with “Stand and Deliver” but was summoned back after much clapping and cheering from the crowd for an encore with “Press Darlings”, “Red Scab” and “Physical (You’re So), ending an evening of what may be the best Adam Ant performance I have seen.  Between Adam Ant’s voice, constant dancing, energy, and showmanship, I would say he is at the top of his game.  The evening was perfect—and I time-traveled back to the 80s.

Adam Ant’s Band: Will Crewdson-guitar/vocals, Jola-drums, Joel Holweger-Bass/vocals, A.P. Leach-guitar/vocals, Andy Woodard-drums/vocals

Glam Skanks: Guitar/keys/percussion-Veronica Witkin, Lead vocals/keys/percussion-Vanessa McNiel, Drums/vocals-Jessica Goodwin, Bass/vocals-Millie Chan

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Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse
Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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About Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D. (505 Articles)
I live and breathe music through playing, writing, and photography.

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