Adam Ant at The Palace Theater, Greensburg, PA - September 17

It is hard to believe that the most recent song showcased (“Gotta Be A Sin”) was released 22 years ago, because Adam Ant performed with such exuberance that it felt he was untouched by age. His charisma was in full effect, and he worked the crowd with every element of his showmanship.

There is a cynicism with greatest hits tours, earned by bands merely cashing in on nostalgia, going through the motions to collect a paycheck. Then there are times when the artist loves performing and does one of these tours to celebrate with their fans.

The night opened with a set from Glam Skanks, a glitter-rock band evoking the likes of The Runaways and T. Rex. The crowd was saving most of its energy for the headliner, but momentum built through fun and well-executed songs like “Fuck Off” and “Bad Bitch to the set-closer “Glitter City”. The lines at the Skanks' merch tables at both intermission and after the show are proof that they made a great impression on their new audience.

Adam Ant captivated the audience for two hours of Antmusic. The bare-bones stage setup offered no distractions from the performances, and none were needed. From the opening chords of “Beat My Guest,” the crowd was on its feet. Ant explained that the tour is called “ANTHEMS” because when everybody sings along, they transform from rock songs into something more “anthemic.”

The band—complete with two drum kits—was in full rock mode, delivering well-orchestrated, high-energy renditions of “Vive Le Rock,” “Room at the Top,” “Strip” and deeper cuts like “Christian D'Or” and “Greta X,” only slowing down for the acoustic “Young Parisians.” Through it all the crowd did their part, culminating in the main set closer/encore opener one-two punch of “Stand and Deliver” and “Goody Two-Shoes.”

Whether you have seen him in his heyday, or never had the opportunity, anyone debating attending one of the remaining stops on this tour should definitely make the effort, as Adam Ant is in top form.


The Glam Skanks

“Out in the Storm” became more than just the title of Waxahatchee’s  latest release.

It is a testament to the captivating talent of Katie Crutchfield and  Waxahatchee that they provided a stellar set despite a visual and auditory maelstrom that enveloped Spirit Wednesday night.

Waxahatchee delivered a tight, concise 60-minute-plus set that pulled  mainly from “Out in the Storm.”

Among current gems like, “Never Been Wrong,” “Silver,” “Sparks Fly,”  and “Hear You,” the band worked in “Air,” “Under a Rock,” “Brother  Bryan,” and “Misery over Dispute,” from their previous two full-length  releases.

It is tough to single out a highlight of the set as the feel and flow dictated it be viewed/heard as a whole rather than piecemeal. There  are not many times such a thing occurs as a lot of bands seem content  to play the obligatory setlist consisting of some new, some old and  ‘the hits.’ There is an art to a set list; it is quickly becoming a  lost art.

It is the strength of that nearly lost art that allowed the band to  shield itself from the immediate visual onslaught of Spirit’s  Halloween art/light installation the “Psychedelic Creep Show Vault.”

The encompassing light installation covered the stage and most of the hall’s main floor on both sides and the ceiling. Rows of lights pulsating, surging, undulating lights fluctuating in random patterns over the course of two hours would have the strongest of steel-lined  stomach’s grabbing for some Dramamine or Pepto-Bismol.

In theory, the light show is a neat idea and one that would work well at a club night with an in-house DJ providing the right soundtrack.  Waxahatchee, and openers Ought, are not the soundtrack for an audacious lighting display. Nor would fans of both bands want anything other than the music to be the center of attention.

Maybe it was the colossal elephant in the room, maybe not, but  Wednesday night’s audience was an especially chatty bunch.





Why would one shell out a nearly $20 cover charge to fight a losing battle against the loud music to have a conversation that could be had at any of the other numerous bars (and there are a lot of them) in  Lawrenceville?

If it is to say ‘Oh, I was there,’ take that $20, buy a t-shirt online and lie. Say you were there, no one cares besides you and those you were shouting your conversation to. Your conscious may feel dirty for  misrepresenting yourself, but you won’t be sullying the others that want to be there for all the right reasons of having an unfettered concert experience.

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Waxahatchee at Spirit - November 8, 2017