Words + Photos — Farrah Skeiky
The Adicts have been touring with their original lineup for 30 years, and have never played a DC show until now. Resident joker Keith “Monkey” Warren and his band of droogs have built a ridiculous name for themselves (in the best way possible, of course) for consistently putting on a tremendous show that never takes itself too seriously. So after 30 years, the crowd at RNR is a combination of long-time fans, those who briefly listened to The Adicts in high school and were curious to see what the fuss was about, a whole lot of Oi! punks, and one die-hard fan who was first in line sporting full clown-face (he was the only one, I swear).
Despite the extended absence, we know what to expect. A rapid rendition of “Ode to Joy” kicks the set off with Fiddle Dan shutting down any doubts about violins having a place in this show. Shortly after, Monkey takes the stage and the antics begin with a comically large deck of cards being tossed about. From that point on, we are continuously showered with confetti, passing beer up to the stage, and every single song is a sing-along anthem.
The impressive dynamic between the band members, particularly that of Monkey and lead guitarist Pete Davidson (Dee), toes the line between love and hate, and they play upon it as part of the act. “Fuck It Up,” “Rocking Wrecker,” and “Troubador” are massive and we’re only halfway through the twenty-four song set. Next is “Angel,” which is “a fucking love song.” Or maybe that was “I Am Yours”– who cares? Every song is boisterous and aggressive and way too fun. Age is irrelevant here. The Adicts have still got it, and the best part is, they don’t even have to put in an effort to drive that point. The face paint, however, isn’t holding up as well.
There’s a pause. “You guys are great ,but this one girl up here,” he points to the girl to my left, “is biting my leg. You’ve gotta stop doing that. You’re gonna catch something you don’t want.”
Monkey would have you think that he gets more ass than a rental car. Perhaps he does. He gyrates and pouts and makes a point of making eye contact with every single female in the room. At the start of “Bad Girl,” he invites several hyped up girls to the stage in order to find “The number one naughty girl” in the room, which inevitably leads to him being mauled by a hoard of rockabilly bettys.
The levity of the lyrics is only complimented by the antics on stage. Did I mention that there’s an entire song about Chinese take-out? Monkey’s got at least three costume changes, and somehow ends up in an inflatable Elvis wig. The musical assault continues and we’re finally greeted with “Viva La Revolution,” probably the biggest anthem of the night. Dee’s brother, known as Kid Dee, is on drums and is doing a remarkable job of holding down the driving beats that lends equally to those bouncing on the balls of their feet and those thrashing about aimlessly.
At this point most of the catfights have calmed down, the thrashing has become more rhythmic, and I am certain this is the longest set I have ever seen at a punk show. As if that wasn’t enough, we get a three song encore including “Who Spilt My Beer.”
Christmas lights, teddy bears, more confetti– this is so much more than just a punk show of inane songs and immature fans. This is hands down the most fun show/party/circus act of the summer.