“Album” tours are becoming an increasingly popular gambit among revival acts: Choose the most popular long-player from the discography and tour around playing it from start to finish for an audience of old-school fans. Rarely does the music sound fresh and the artist seem vital, but Adam Ant’s live revival of his Kings of the Wild Frontier album, a beat-heavy slice of campy rock, still makes many modern acts seem tame.
At his February 11 show at Brooklyn Bowl at the Linq Promenade, Ant was in the full New Romantic pirate regalia we so fondly remember: Leather pants, cockaded hat, gold-braided jacket, a dash of war paint, all of which he still pulled off with svelte aplomb at 62. He also maintained an unflagging energy throughout his 90-minute set that would shame performers half his age—jumping on and off of monitors, twirling and swaggering across the stage.
The band was definitely younger than its frontman (and younger than about ¾ of the crowd) but ripped out the songs like they’d been playing them for decades. And the Ants’ trademark two-drum attack was in full effect, propelling tunes such as “Antmusic” and “Dog Eat Dog” like twin rocket engines. (Also, props to the female half of the drumming duo: Much as Ginger Rogers had to do everything Fred Astaire did, except backwards and in high heels, she had to play everything the drummer in the muscle shirt did, except in a Marie Antoinette wig and domino mask.)
After the closing notes of “The Human Beings,” Ant doffed his jacket to blast through a handful of other hits—the bouncing tabloid kiss-off of “Goody Two Shoes” and perennial favorite, “Prince Charming,” as well as a cover of T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” It may be over 35 years since Kings of the Wild Frontier came out, but Adam Ant’s star still shines. ★★★★✩