Sunday, October 7, 2012

Joy. Part I



My concert

It was always such a big deal to get dressed for an Adam Ant concert, not only because I was young and had a closetful of size 4 vintage clothes (largely black, some Victorian, one with actual gorilla fur trim) but also because it was part of the Antperson creed.  

"Fun to go to the A.N.T.S.
Put on a kilt, dye your hair green
And dance to Zerox Machine"
~A.N.T.S.


I have to admit, as a 46-year old woman who is now a size 14, I do not have a closetful of cool clothes anymore.  I have a closetful of clothes that were good enough for me to end the ordeal of shopping and go home. That would not be adequate for the front row of an Adam Ant concert.

"They believed in sex and looking good
With their own brand of music
They weren't pandering
So which side of the fence
Are you on?"
~Magnificent Five

Encouraged by losing twelve pounds over the past three months, I decided the main thing to wear to the concert would be cleavage.  I have never in my life bought a push-up bra, but am now the proud owner of a red Frederick's of Hollywood bra that comes with its own boobs pre-installed (so mine have no choice but to be pushed on top).

"Don't you ever, don't you ever
Stop being dandy
Showing me you're handsome
Prince Charming, Prince Charming
Ridicule is nothing to be scared of"
~Prince Charming

I then shopped for a sexy black lace top and a short fitted black skirt, and happily discovered that I am now a size 12.  

"I'm the dandy highwayman who you're too scared to mention
I spend my cash on looking flash and grabbing your attention!
The devil take your stereo and your record collection
The way you look you'll qualify for next year's old age pension.
Stand and deliver 
Your money or your life
Try and use a mirror
No bullet or a knife"
~Stand and Deliver

Greg was somewhat surprised that I planned to spend the entire day getting ready for the concert, but seemed to get the idea when I spent hours trying on multiple combinations of stockings, tights, boots, camisoles, and jewelry, all the while playing Adam Ant videos and working on my hair and makeup. 
Antperson, wearing Death Eater
black leather wristbands,
push-up bra and Vivienne Westwood
day of the dead sugar skull necklace
Husband of antperson, wearing punk
Buzzcocks t-shirt, guyliner
and "ready to rock" face

"We don't follow fashion

That would be a joke
You know we're gonna set them, set them
So everyone can take note, take note"
~Goody Two Shoes


Finally it was time to go.  We arrived 30 minutes before the doors opened at 7:00pm, which gave us enough time to pick up our tickets

FRONT ROW CENTER



admire the view

The view!
and chat with other Antpeople who were already in line.  There were a lot of people wearing Ant-style white stripes, pirate gear, and Adam and the Ants concert t-shirts from the 80s.


Antperson and husband at Citywalk
When the doors opened, I immediately went for our seats, which were, as promised, FRONT ROW CENTER. 

Greg and I sat there surrounded by empty seats, looking at the dark empty stage, and I quietly relived every single feeling that I had ever had about Adam Ant and his music: when I was a lonely quiet girl spending hours and hours loving his music alone in my room, finding what felt like a family of kindred spirits attached to this beautiful man and his brilliant music, when that turned into finding Antpeople pen-pal friends, the long bus rides and car trips to meet them and to see Adam Ant perform in concert, the teenager who had lost the light and turned into darkness and cutting but went on a previously-planned Adam and the Ants concert anyway just out of remembered loyalty and came out of it completely overwhelmed with such joy that it brought back the light, when I learned how to run out of the concert with the opening bars of the last encore and follow Adam's tour bus back to his hotel, when I actually saw him in the hotel lobby in Atlanta, and then met him and got to shake his hand and touch his tattoo with a quivering index finger in a hotel room in Washington DC, when I got to meet him again in a hotel bar in Norfolk and ask him questions and get his autograph on my tour program, when I met Marco Pirroni and Jordan, and then when his career seemed to end and his mental illness seemed to take over, and there was no public word of him at all, for so long, and when he began appearing in public again and began doing concerts and talking about a new album, and it just seemed like it might be a bad thing, YouTube videos of him forgetting lyrics and it was just so upsetting, but then he kept playing concerts and got better and soon all the crappy iPhone YouTube videos of him in concert were driving me crazy, because he looked and sounded great and he was touring the UK and Europe and Australia, but would he ever come to America?

"He who writes in blood
Doesn't want to be read
He must be learned by heart"

~Magnificent Five

And there I was, sitting in my seat, looking at a stage about four feet high - no barrier between me and the stage - just literally a few feet from me.  Right there, he would be right there.


So then we went and got in line at the merchandise tables and bought two t-shirts, a tour program, and two wristbands.  Greg went to the restroom to put on his new Adam Ant t-shirt, and I just sat, dazed, looking at the empty stage and tearing up, just a little.

Ant vandalism at the Hard Rock

The opening act, Brothers of Brazil, were actually quite good, but I was far too distracted to really enjoy them.  When they left the stage and the roadies started clearing off their instruments and bringing out the rest of Adam's stuff, I started getting such butterflies in my stomach that I felt slightly nauseous. I was shaking a little. Greg went back to the merchandise tables for a third t-shirt.

Antperson and husband
wearing Antshirt

A roadie came out and taped the setlist to the floor, Greg took a pic of it with his iPhone.  When he showed it to the people sitting behind us, they were disappointed that they weren't familiar with more of the songs.  (I secretly got a kick out of that. Seriously, this was a surprising setlist packed with non-hits, custom-made for a punk like me.)
Awesome setlist, not including
the five encore songs

"Music for a future age
Don't be square, be there
All good clean fun
(Whatever that means)
Antmusic for Sexpeople
Sexmusic for Antpeople
Get off your knees
And hear the insect prayer"

~Don't Be Square (Be There)

Antperson in position, waiting

Part II is here.

6 comments:

  1. Oh ellen I am on the edge of my seat waiting for part two. I am so moved to know how deeply Adam Ant affected you as a young girl, how he brought back the light for you and now I begin to understand a little more. But what also moves me about this post is how passionately you commit, its beautiful, and the way Greg lets you be you and enjoys you being you is most beautiful of all.

    And I love the photos! You looked punked out and cool as can be. You're lovely, dear antperson.

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    1. Oh Angella, you just mean so much to me. Thanks for sharing my life with me like this, and thanks for caring, and thanks for expressing yourself so beautifully - Greg does enjoy me being me, and what a great way to say it.

      I am pretty passionate about Adam Ant. I remember with much hilarity how several relatives told me at age 19 that I shouldn't get an Ant-related tattoo, because I probably wouldn't still like Adam when I got "old". I didn't get it then, but not because I was afraid I wouldn't love Adam forever. I think 46 might be a great age to get my first tattoo, though!

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  2. I love the report on your experience:) I can feel the joy, the happiness trying to burst from you into the world.
    I am so glad this went so beautifully:)

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    1. Thank you! :) It really was BEAUTIFUL.

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  3. Thanks for the report. Loved that set list! What did the people behind you think he was going to play?! Looks like you had a perfect evening!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Linda! You know, there were a lot of hits he didn't do: Antrap, Friend or Foe, Puss N Boots, Apollo 9...

      It really was a perfect evening :)

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