Perusing Adam Green’s blog, and considering the outlandish lyricism of his six solo albums, it isn’t difficult to discern that he is a thoroughly off-kilter character. Ascending the stage in the Academy 2, the self-confessed ‘macho rock and roll singer’ who orders ‘pizzas in my mind’, resplendent in a studded leather biker jacket and polished red winklepickers, looks like an endlessly amusing homage to the CBGB -70s, with the gracelessness of a drunk, but a plentiful supply of charisma. The set, marking the opening show of his current tour, starts with a virulently animated rendition of ‘Over the Sunrise’, and it soon becomes apparent that sometimes, sacrificing seamless segues and pitch perfect vocals for reckless excitement can be to the benefit of a live performance.
Tonight, Green assumes the all-inclusive role of entertainer, creating a compelling visual spectacle as, beaming with the unbridled glee of a small child he thrashes and flails haphazardly through a delightfully jumbled delivery of an assortment of songs from his prolific arsenal of albums, from ‘Broadcast Beach’, deemed ‘a sexy song for modern people doing hot shit’ with its -60s surf pop vocal harmonies, to ‘The Prince’s Bed’. Before the end of ‘Emily’, Green has catapulted himself off stage in a flurry of feedback into the arms of an army of adoring spectators.
It is the exuberance of the crowd, particularly a staunch pocket at the front, oddly decorated in Burger King crowns that propels Green’s offhandedly charming interplay with the audience; he has them in the palm of his hand as he samples their drinks and regales them with stories of his current book, a ghost-written biography called How To Act Bad, which started life as a Garfield comic which came to be set in the Medieval era. He attempts to cater to the tastes of every fan with his diverse set list, an ideal blend of tracks from Gemstones to Jacket Full of Danger, whilst remembering to pay attention to recent release Minor Love with an assortment of songs such as the blues infused ‘Buddy Bradley’ and ‘Cigarette Burns Forever’, an ode to smokers with more than a hint of Lou Reed. His often technically shambolic offerings are punctuated with uproarious observations about women with a propensity to choke him in bed, and the “scientifically proven” fact that excessive consumption of Red Bull causes a girl’s vagina to smell weird. By the time the set finishes with ‘Dance With Me’, the usually dank and dismal venue has erupted in a hyperactive frenzy; the stage is stormed by a cluster of maniacal audience members, stage lights are nearly kicked out, leads are wrapped around writhing bodies, security is aroused and Adam Green has crowdsurfed at least two more times.
Just as the audience begins to filter out of the venue, after an unusually long interval, Green appears onstage for a topless five song encore, bidding an apt ‘bye to the crazy ones’ with ‘Can You See Me’ and a chronicling of the demise of Britney Spears in ‘Superstar Blues’. Green’s swan song, ‘Jessica’, is a summation of the entire gig; the microphone barely making it to his lips, he shares the brunt of the vocals with a presumably tone-deaf fan who sounds so crazed that she may rupture some sort of internal organ at any minute, and offers his one seamless segue of the night; a spoken word chant of Bikini Kill’s ‘Rebel Girl’, and the perfect oddity with which to close an extraordinarily beautiful mess of an evening.
Photos by Kieran Frost.