Saturday, September 15, 2012

Adam & the Ants - Hard Rock Cafe Sept 14, 2012

Melanie has been a hard core Adam Ant fan since the early 80's (and she still has the 1981 tour t-shirt to prove it!) and had a chance to see him numerous times back in the day. Last November, when she heard that he would be appearing in Vegas, she immediately picked up tickets, only to have him cancel (as so many do for their Vegas dates). We later found out that the show was being postponed, and, after almost a year since buying the tickets, the night finally arrived!

The Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip (not to be confused with the Hard Rock Casino, with its large venue, the Joint) is a smaller, more intimate venue (we're guessing about 500), so we were looking forward to the event. Unfortunately, the logistics of the club meant that the audience needed to line up around the corner, on the street (fortunately it was a nice night) and wait as they slowly let groups of people in, who then had to climb 3 flights of stairs to the space. Our wait was 45 minutes or so. The show was scheduled to start at 8:00, but actually began around 9:00, as people were still straggling in.

The opening act was an unusual guitar/drum duet called the Brothers From Brazil, who claimed that they really were both, playing flamenco/samba in a White Stripes vein. Talented musicians, but not very interesting in the songwriting department and while they tried to be entertaining visually, just didn't click with either of us, though many in the crowd did seem to like them.

Adam finally made it on at about 10:00, making a grand entrance with the song "Plastic Surgery", singing the intro with his back to the audience, before turning around for the upbeat section and revealing his new, updated, "Pirates of the Caribbean" look, complete with pirate hat. His band (no one from the original Ants) was relatively nondescript, other than a lovely blond female drummer as the "Adam" drummer (there was also a male "Ant" drummer), and a sexy, sultry brunette back up singer who went through several costume changes - I assume that she was the eye candy for the guys, as Adam is for the girls.

For the next two hours - one of the longest sets I've seen an act do since Bruce Springsteen in the 70's - Adam ran through his hits and many obscurities from his early days. I've always liked some of his early work, but never been the devoted fan that Melanie was, so I didn't know many of the songs, but appreciated the oddness and angularity of the 70's work. Definitely a set for the hard core fans - and, I'm sure, for Adam himself.

Although getting to the club was insanely, stupidly, annoying, the space itself is not bad and the sound is pretty good, overall. Not someplace that I would care to visit again, though, unless someone truly special was playing.

But, Adam and his new Ants are a real treat for fans and he is doing a big tour now, so this seems to be the time to see him.