FROM BEYONCÃ‰ TO THAT CREEP WITH THE CLOSED EYES:
The Top Five Reasons We Sat Frozen Upfront At Antony’s Town Hall Gig For 90 Minutes
Photos/Text By Andrew Parks
1. First and foremost, Antony is a funny motherfucker. No, really. As deadly serious as the guy’s torch songs are, he knows how to cut through a stiff, New Yorker-cribbing crowd like a knife. Aside from nailing a priceless cover of “Crazy In Love,” Antony filled Thursday’s awkward pauses with bizarre, often brilliant stage banter. That includes his semi-coherent ramblings on the State of Things (“I’m like the Huffington Post, telling you everything“) and quite a few wide-eyed tales of what New York was like, pre-Giuliani.
According to Antony, we’re about to go back there, as evidenced by the homeless people selling freshly-stolen luggage on Avenue C. Thanks for the tip, buddy!
2. He makes us all address gender issues whether we’re ready to or not. Take the lines “One day I’ll grow up/I’ll be a beautiful woman/One day I’ll grow up/I’ll be a beautiful girl” from “For Today I Am a Boy.” A couple sitting next to self-titled couldn’t help but giggle uncomfortably the first time said trans-curious verses were uttered, yet Antony had both of them in the palm of his bear-like hand–practically weeping–by the end.
3. Black tie attire aside, the Johnsons can wail when they want to, from the sax spasms of “Shake That Devil” to the sweeping, downright debilitating melancholy of the forthcoming 7-inch single “Epilepsy Is Dancing.”
4. As hinted at in such Hercules and Love Affair standouts as “Blind” and “Free Will,” Antony has one hell of a twisted house album in him. Or on the other end of the spectrum, a noisy, nasty post-everything meditation on just how meaningless all of this is. In other words, we were constantly reminded of how versatile his voice, leaving us wish he’d play something as informal as Glasslands next time.
5. Because we get it now–finally–from the beguiling, alien beauty of Antony’s jazz bar melodies to the prickly, knee-knocking power of a song like “Fistful of Love.” (The guy sitting next to us had his eyes wide shut during Antony’s stunning rendition of this old favorite. We found it creepy at first, but then we remembered how rare it is to see someone so transfixed by a live performance these days.)
Now, for some more swiftly-shot photos, taken in rare instances where you couldn’t hear a pin drop …