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The Adicts Concert Review

The Adicts
September 25th, 2015
The Riot Room - Kansas City, MO

The Adicts
A line stretched down Broadway as time for doors to open approached. In it was exactly the type of crowd that goes to punk shows at bars. All of your favorites characters were there: friendly local punks in mediocre bands, rude and poorly dressed balding dudes who listen to '70's punk on YouTube, and a few smart-looking skinheads. This show, however, was a bar punk show taken to the next level. The Adicts, a British punk band who started in 1975 and has never quit, had come to play their first ever Kansas City show.

And when punk rock royalty comes to Kansas City, who better to book than three incredibly mediocre opening acts? First up was Sister Mary Rotten Crotch, who I'm told was part of Kansas City's late '90's/early 2000's punk scene who recently got back together. While being the best out of the three locals, they're definitely not a band I would ever pay to see again. The band relies heavily on  vulgar, over-the-top lyrics about every type of sex act and body part you can imagine. And believe me, I'm not one to dislike a band for being vulgar, I love some songs by GG Allin and shit like that, but when you use these tactics to cover up for the fact that you can't create an interesting or exciting song, it's not too enjoyable.

The second band to harass the somehow-enthused audience was American Dischord. These three bearded white dudes play a brand of punk with throaty yells and speedy drumming made popular by bands like The Lawrence Arms and The Menzingers, however they execute this style with about 1/100th of the gusto and ability that their influences do. One particularly laughable part of the set was when the singer/guitarist informed the audience that their set was being recorded and urged them to "show the world what Kansas City is made of." Another interesting point was a Rancid cover where both singing members stumbled a bit with the lyrics.
Monkey had three different hats

The last opener was Stiff Middle Fingers, the latest in a never-ending line of awful Lawrence punk bands. The sideburn and jean shorts-sporting frontman was very stoked to be playing with The Adicts and the other two bands that evening and to tell us that they have a new EP coming out next month. As the band played their barely-rehearsed take on '90's skate punk, the singer zipped around in the mosh pit (that consisted of three spiky-haired punx and an old guy with slicked back hair and a belt-holster for his phone) and ran outside through a side door, later claiming to be an "equal opportunity entertainer." Their cartoonish singer introduced one song called "Psycho Bitch" and claimed it wasn't misogynistic because it was a "100% true story." What a trip.

After the incredible mess that is the Kansas City bar punk scene was done, it was finally time for The Adicts to take the stage back. After an extended waiting time (probably for frontman Keith "Monkey" Warren to put the finishing touches on his stage makeup), the lads themselves arrived on stage. At one point guitarist Pete Dee jokingly assured the crowd that "it only took us 38 years to get here, I'm sure we'll be back."

I've been seeing shows for about six years now and many people in attendance had been seeing shows for about thirty years, but I can guarantee you that (unless they'd seen The Adicts somewhere else before) everyone there saw some kind of zany antics they hadn't seen at a rock show before. As the band played their 20 song set, their stage crew was keeping busy, supplying Monkey with umbrellas filled with confetti, stuffed animals to play with, and even a bubble machine to set up. The band of course wasn't playing their songs with the power that they were 30 years ago, but the fact that they were there playing the hits with their fun-loving attitude was enough for the now-packed and sweaty audience.
All-white has never looked so good

Monkey's vocal cords certainly aren't what they used to be. He sounded a bit weak on some numbers, but his band members and the crowd did a good job making up for it. Songs like "Viva La Revolution", "Joker In The Pack", and British soccer standard "You'll Never Walk Alone" were big crowd-movers due to their popularity. "Chinese Takeaway" brought lots of dancing and laughter when Monkey used chopsticks to feed members of the audience long, curly pieces of confetti out of a takeout container. Even newer songs like the easy-going drinking anthem "Life Goes On" off the group's 2009 album got a surprisingly good reaction.

The makeup applied to Monkey's face slowly deteriorated as the night went on, but the energy of the group (that consisted of at least three 50+ year olds) did not. Again, they weren't playing just like they used to, but damn were they up there sweating for us. If you skipped this gig due to the fact that the group is really old now, you messed up honestly. I don't have a bulging savings account, so I didn't see The Rolling Stones earlier this year, but I'm willing to compare the two bands anyway. Does Mick Jagger jump down off the stage to take pictures and dance with the crowd right after they perform? Monkey does! The Adicts left The Riot Room floors covered in confetti, playing cards, and spilt beer, but I think everyone was okay with that.

One thing that juxtaposed The Adicts from other British bands of their time was their playfulness. Some bands were all about politics or all about sex and drugs, and while The Adicts had some of those types of songs, they also had songs about falling in love, eating Chinese food, and just being a weirdo, and that's why I think people will continue to enjoy them for years to come. Fun, smart, and uniquely British.

Full photo gallery here:

1 comment:

  1. What a stupid review. Obviously this person wasn't at the same show as everybody else.


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