The Glam Skanks are by far one of my favorite openers I have seen in some time. The way the music and attitude infected everyone right off the bat was something you would usually expect from the headliner. I honestly have not seen a band believe in what they are doing more than them in recent memory. The subject matter is fun, racy and rebellious while maintaining a very strong sense of confidence and awesome female empowerment. Like an all-girl gang that will take your pinball money at the roller rink, but wink at you as they walk away.
There was great crowd interaction and each song was named and explained, making sure everyone was well-informed as to what we were about to hear. This is all supported by real musical talent. These women care about their craft and really know how to play and perform. No phoning it in or relying on anything else to carry the performance. The rhythm section was very tight and had depth that allowed the drums and bass to create a bluesy, almost heavy push and pull. Laid on top was classic rock and blues riffs that were still inventive and original. Combine all of that with powerful and soulful vocals with amazing stage presence and you can see why I had a great time. Hard working bands like this are the outcome of a collapsed industry that became entitled and content. Bands like this are my hope that once our legends are gone, there will be new ones to look up to.
I have only ever had recordings of the music to gauge my interest on, so seeing this music performed live made it take on a whole new life and impact. The musicians that are bringing these songs to life are truly talented and skilled. All of the nuances and musical mannerisms from the guitar are spot on. This is very important, as this instruments effects and tone are an enormous part of what helps you immediately identify an Adam Ant song. Being able to witness how that comes to life is very rewarding. Also being able to observe how the bass guitar weaves through the rhythm and melody granted a new appreciation for well-known tracks while cementing the weight of the music.
For me, this was the best musically choreographed double drummer performance I have ever seen. The amount of power that comes from the deftly timed syncopation hits a very primal nerve. It creates an almost call-to-arms feeling to the audience.
The audience itself was one of the most enjoyable elements of the show as well. There were people from so many walks of life that came together to actually celebrate and enjoy the music.
There are far too many shows nowadays where it seems to be either attendance based on politics within music scenes, hipster street cred or just plain fashion based fulfillment. While it’s impossible to know whether or not these elements were in attendance or not I can safely say everyone I interacted with was eager to enjoy the evening and be transported back to their favourite musical moments. This was made possible by the incredible set list. The album Kings of the Wild Frontier (CBS/Epic) was performed in it’s entirety followed by some of his personal favorites. The band reemerged after cheers for an encore and Adam was now wearing a cut-off sleeve t-shirt instead of his pirate gear, revealing tattoos and a change in attitude to match. A cover of ‘Bang a Gong’ by Marc Bolan of T. Rex was a major highlight of the night for me. T. Rex, David Bowie and Adam Ant were played a lot in my household growing up, so seeing one of those bands cover the other was mind-blowing for me. The night closed out with the song ‘Physical’, rounding out a 26 song set list, which may actually be the most songs I have seen one band play.
The current state of music has brought many acts back on tour as either genuine revivals or unforgiving cash grabs, which was not what we experienced here. This performance, and I imagine the rest of the tour, served as a correction or something that had been righted. It was not pulling something up from the past, rather celebrating something that is still relevant and alive today. Bringing this music back to the people who love it, and introducing new listeners to the fold. Adam Ant belongs on stage and we are very fortunate to be able to experience that in such a superb way.
WORDS BY GUY NELSON