“Prince Charming Charms The Fillmore”
“Kings of the Wild Frontier” stands the test of time as an epic, frenetic new wave classic. It is an album that inspired a generation of music fans and budding musicians. However, it is less commonly known that the 1980 masterpiece came out at a very pivotal zenith in Adam’s career, at a time when musical svengali Malcolm McLaren (depending on who you ask) “stole” or “swayed” members of Adam’s band to join the fledgling (and admittedly, purposefully constructed) band Bow Wow Wow. To hear one perspective on how this occurred check out our prior interview with Leigh Gorman here. Such disequilibrium may have shelved lesser artists, but not Adam. It was out of the ashes of this tumult that Adam began partnering with guitarist and co-writer Marco Pirroni for what was to become one of Adam’s most defining works. In the ensuing 37 years, the album has indeed stood the test of time, being revered and immortalized in countless lists, including the book “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die” (2010 by Robert Dimery and Michael Lydon).
Despite the bevy of excitement and momentum for the quickly sold out shows on the current tour, tragedy struck in late January when guitarist and musical collaborator Tom Edwards (an accomplished musician who had performed alongside other legends such as Roddy Frame and Edwyn Collins, amongst others) passed away suddenly at the age of 41. With the consent and blessings of Tom’s family, the tour was able to continue in a manner that honored Tom’s spirit and legacy. As happened during various stages of Adam’s career, he and his band mates were able to navigate difficulties and move on in a resilient fashion. In many respects, 2017 began resembling 1980 all over again, in more ways than one.
Given the historic importance of this album and the preciousness of a continuing tour that could have very well ended prematurely, it was with great anticipation and appreciation that the audience at the sold-out Fillmore San Francisco awaited their “prince” to take the stage on Tuesday, February 7th, 2017 to perform the entire album, along with other classic hits.
Adam was indeed in top form, looking svelte and full of vibrant energy. Many a fan was swooning over their idol as he danced, pranced and commanded the stage. And of course, Adam’s attire didn’t disappoint either with his signature pirate hat, bandana and accouterments. I am more convinced than ever that Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow was a direct rip off of Adam’s classic look from decades prior (Disney lawyers, please don’t sue me for defamation for saying that!).
Many fellow concertgoers also commented on how great the sound was and they weren’t wrong. Adam’s band perfectly captured the original aural essence of “Kings of the Wild Frontier”. The tandem percussive work of “dueling drummers” was particularly impressive and contributed to a compelling beat that got the crowd moving their feet incessantly. In fact, on a number of occasions I could feel the historic wood floor of The Fillmore undulating up and down, which was a surreal feeling that brought a wry smile to my face throughout the evening.
The full concert set list was as follows:
Dog Eat Dog
Feed Me To The Lions
Killer In The Home
Kings Of The Wild Frontier
The Magnificent Five
Don’t Be Square (Be There)
The Human Beings
Beat My Guest
Stand and Deliver
Vive Le Rock
Desperate But Not Serious
Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face)
Goody Two Shoes
Get It On (T. Rex Cover)
Physical (You’re So)
Personal highlights of the show included renditions of “Beat My Guest” and “Cartrouble” as well as Adam taking up a guitar and demonstrating his proficiency with a six-string on a number of tracks including “Ants Invasion,” “Desperate But Not Serious,” “Xerox Machine,” and “Never Trust A Man (With Egg On His Face).” Amazing stuff.
Topping off this magical night, we were given a beautiful complimentary poster (typical of sold-out Fillmore shows) and even briefly met Adam for some autographs upon his exit from the venue!
It was a special thing to see that “Prince Charming” was still royalty to the adoring crowd in San Francisco. Vive Le Rock indeed!
To stay up on all of his projects, tour information and to purchase merch, check out www.adam-ant.com
Rest in Peace Tom Edwards. To help support Tom’s family, check out:
Inner Edge Music