I'm of the era where Dirk Wears White Sox was the first album and Kings was a little bit of a sellout. But, what a sassy sellout! I do admit, many of the songs on Kings of the Wild Frontier were foundational anthems of my adolescence. And, Adam et al perfectly captured that sense of alienation and then wrapped it in this sweet and gauzy and billowy sleeved guise of romanticism, tribalism, warrior, purpose and pride.
Maybe it reads or listens kinda hooky, some three decades later, but I remember traumatizing our High School Talent show with an incredibly earnest and shitty version of Dog Eat Dog - which essentially summed up our collective experience, the three of us who figured out how to make a mocking resemblance of that tune, and then sell it with that vitriolic hate that only adolescence can generate. Oh, the days.
Therefore, even though stage time would be well past my bedtime, I got it up and out for Mr. Stuart Goddard, sans the boys, since the Ants weren't really the Ants when they were the Ants - they were already Bow Wow Wow, but I digress.
The venue - Emo's East. No offense, never been a fan of Emo's, but you go where the music is. Emo's East just happens to be a much reftro-fitted version of the old Back Room. I did have the pleasure of seeing the SugarCubes at the Back Room, for my birthday, I'm guessing the year was '88. Good times, my friends treated me, the band played "Birthday" so I felt is was all for me.
This place is barely recognizable as that place, and while on appearance it seems a great venue, the sound just sucked!! And, you know, ultimately, you're there for the show, and it's a drag to not be able to hear. Much less, most of the folks from that era that tour have lost a lot of the lungs and pipes, and just can't deliver at top volume, full notes, long holds, even for the 45 minutes that counts as a concert nowadays.
Adam was not in best form, he really struggled, visibly panting at times! He stuck with it, full on sassy stage show, even though I feared for his life. He did show in full regaiia, and spectacles. Very cute, still to this day. Not a paunch, but he wasn't going to take his shirt off.
On that note, I did detect a note of irony - I think he knew that there was almost an absurdity to the theatre of it, and that it was hopelessly retro - and all the goth girls got really heavy, so it wasn't 'sexy' and 'erotic' like his shows of the 80s... anyway, the highlight was when he ripped his flouncy pirate shirt open to expose his own tour shirt, from the 80s. It was a nice moment!
If you can relate, it kinda got so bad, it got good. I was into the dual-drummer thunderbeats, I was into the lyrics and his absurdity of yelping and squealing. I was amused by the folks in the crowd who showed up in all their finery. I appreciaed the memory of what is was to find connection, and inspiration, at a time when I felt really disconnected, I was an Ant-Person. I still consider myself one of the Ant People.
Just wanted to share the experience, how it felt, what it made me grateful for, and how silly it is and was... enjoy, give thanks and praise!