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Concert review: Adam Ant at Hard Rock Cafe (Strip)

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Adam Ant, performing September 14 at Hard Rock Cafe on the Strip.
Photo: Robert Kenney
Jason Harris

The Details

Adam Ant
three stars
September 14, Hard Rock Cafe (Strip)

If Adam Ant wasn’t real, an author would have made up the mythical new romantic by now. The man currently inhabiting pirate-like identity the Blueblack Hussar—complete with a sea-faring costume of yesteryear, had the biggest Hard Rock Cafe audience I’ve seen in the palm of his hand all night.

After being out of the spotlight, mental health issues aside, since the mid-’90s, Ant, along with his new band The Good, The Mad and The Lovely Posse, has been barnstorming across the world for the past two years, playing like he has something to prove.

Tearing through post-punk gems like “Xerox” and “Car Trouble,” Ant made the most of his 1 hour, 40 minute set. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the sound crew, which did him a terrible disservice. Vocals could barely be heard on the first four (!) songs, and the microphone continued to scratch later during “Stand and Deliver,” stifling the crowd’s palpable excitement (I even missed a “da diddley qa qa” or two).

As the sound steadied, Ant grew stronger. “Kings of the Wild Frontier” was a highlight, with the two drummers pacing the action hard and Ant noting that every time “feels like the first time I sing it.”

Perhaps he should have saved a big hit like “Strip” or the one-two power combo of “Antmusic”/“Goody Two Shoes” for the encore. But that’s a minor quibble considering most fans probably never expected to see Prince Charming (a nickname he earned from the 1981 album of the same name) tour again. The 48-year-old in front of me jumped up and down like he was still 17—when he last saw Ant live.

The Ant Army is alive and well, but the teenagers have been replaced with 50-somethings dressed as pirates. Sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction.

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