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Adam Ant - No mere bug

Adam Ant in concert at the Orpheum in Boston, Nov. 20. The British rock group Wall of Voodoo opened the show.

Viva Le Rock!! Rock and roll was definitely alive and celebrated at Adam Ant's recent concert at the Orpheum. Ant's magnetic stage presence and his backup bands's fervent performance enraptured the Ant-hyped audience and sent them into a frenzy.

Although the lyrical quality and musical originality of Antmusic are less than outstanding, Adam Ant has captured a large following with his driving, primitive, provocative style. His show began with a ten-minute tease, where the stage lights were turned out and a recording -- interspersed with music and an incoherent monologue -- played with the audience's anticipation.

The tension exploded when Ant leapt on stage in a black leather jacket, shredded blue jeans, and tall black boots. The trademark makeup was gone, as were the ribbons and lace. Ant stalked the stage invitingly, flashing seductive looks at all the pretty girls in the audience. His dancing fluctuated between pretentious bump-and-grind and snappy, leg-twisting steps punctuated by kick-leaps.

Ant, singing in his usual chant-like style, rarely displayed his vocal talent except in screams and war-whoops. The band played loudly and well, often obscuring the lyrics that Ant was singing with the cacaphony of drums and the pounding bass line. But it wasn't the lyrics that most of the audience came here to experience, anyway -- it was the raw emotion that Ant is so famous for. All of Ant's songs were basically primal screams, outpourings of such generally repressed emotions as sexual desire and violent tendencies.

Ant gave his fans a place to vent their frustrations, and encouraged them to (Tom: The next word is intended to be mode 5, JR)Strip away their inhibitions. This sense of freedom plus his good looks seem to be Ant's major appeal. The crowd responded more to his playful strip-tease done to Physical in the second encore than to any of his vocal manuevers. Other songs which were especially successful were Viva Le Rock, Stand and Deliver, and Goody Two Shoes.

The opening band, Wall of Voodoo, almost stole the show before Adam even arrived. Although the crowd was not very receptive to them at first, calling for "Adam! Adam!" in between the first few numbers, Wall of Voodoo left the stage with the audience feeling happy and fired up.

Lead singer Andy Prieboy arrests both ears and eyes. With his deep, clear, rich voice and tall, almost anorexically thin black-clad figure, he looks like a giant exclamation point onstage. The band was often so loud as to drown out Prieboy almost totally, which was a shame. One wonders from where in his small body such a tremendous voice issues.

The band's music was similarly arresting. Synthesizers, bass, and drums dominated their powerful, entrancing music. During a brief period while Prieboy left the stage, the band showed off its talents in an eerie, haunting bit which sounded like demons screeching and the howls of the tortured.

Although Wall of Voodoo has had only limited success in America, a few of their songs were recognizable: I'm On A Mexican Radio and Far Side of Crazy, which Prieboy introduced as a song about John (Is this spelled right?)Hinckley's attempt to impress Jodie Foster by trying to assassinate President Reagan.

All things considered, the concert proved to be a success. For those who preferred strong talent, Wall of Voodoo provided satisfaction; while for undying Adam Ant fans, it was the ultimate immersion in Antmania.

Betty J. McLaughlin->