Prima Donna - Kudos for choosing Ennio Morricone's "Sixty Seconds to What?" as entrance music, as it is the most audacious music he scored for those brilliant Sergio Leone westerns. After that, seeing the dress of this California quintet, you could quickly guess that we would be in for some New York Dollsian glam-punk. It ended up a lot more like the Romantics with a bit of Jennifer Miro (Nuns) piano and a touch of Factory. In fact, the singer later dedicated the set to Factory's late vocalist, Vance Bockis. This band is highly professional and has full command of their material and sound. Unfortunately, it was all extremely safe. There just was not enough sleaze, power-pop, or fiery riffs to propel this decent music forward. Ultimately, this is a fine choice of an opening band for this tour and I was left admiring their overall ability in the broadest sense, but I still wanted more.
Adam Ant - Somehow this is my first encounter with Mr. Ant, who I fondly remember hearing in college after buying his first two albums along with some singles. The band comes on first with the usual twin drumming look along with just a guitar and bass. Adam Ant makes the grand entrance in full Pirate regalia, although those darn glasses really look off. More horrifying was the sound which was a mish-mash of swirling noise and vocals that were barely audible. Fortunately by the third or fourth song, the soundman had it all figured out and Ant was in good voice as we could finally hear the evidence. Unfortunately, they did my favorite (I am hardly on a limb here) "Dog Eat Dog" as the second song, which did not come off as well as many of the other older classics littering the set. I recognized a lot more than I expected as I have not kept up after 1981, except from afar. The material in this 110 minute set was mostly strong and powerful. The lesser songs were decent and the best really rocked hard and did not fall into overly cute pop patterns. Still plenty of hooks and cool beats prevailed, but there was enough heft to keep all of the crowd going the whole night. The band had the energy the full way and Ant did not pause to chat until after about 9-10 songs rapidly fired at us. There were a lot of recognizable songs at the end and I was happy to hear "Cartrouble" which was the first single I bought of his. This was one of those shows I had slight worries about before stepping into the club, but they are but a distant memory now as he and his gutsy band proved they can still stand and deliver the goods.
Quote of the Night: From a fan getting stamped to go in... "So this stamp will let me get back in if I want to go out and do drugs?... or sex?... or maybe rock'n'roll?"