Friday, 31 July 2009

Whipping up a Storm in Tampa

I'm shaking my head in resignation as I'm writing this. Adam Lambert, what the fuck have you done with my life?!!! I didn't get round to doing much writing because I got distracted by things to watch. Anyway, here's the Tampa selection:

If people had any concerns about Adam's voice from the Memphis show, they were firmly put to rest in Tampa. 'Baby' WLL had flawless vocals with a sprinkling of stellar high notes and I loved the bluesy riffing near the end. In a change to usual, Starlight saw him up his interaction with the crowd by covering more of the stage. Mad World was another strong performance and Slow Ride saw more goofing about on the fly. It appears there was another black bra (see full version) at the end that Adam reacted to with a delighted 'Ooh!' before twirling it and throwing it back into the audience. It was the Bowie medley that got everyone talking though. Life On Mars had an extended 'freakiest show' move that saw the hip gyration ripple all the way up through his body. The dancing was more fluid than ever. With another excited 'Ooh!' he picked up a red cat o' nine tails whip that was thrown onto the stage during Fame and proceeded to choreograph it into the act, whipping his ass with it. He seemed to handle the whip with much familiarity, like he knows very well what to do with it. A booming 'Thanks for the whip!' followed. Next were the handcuffs, which he twirled about then threw back down. It appeared he was concerned about having hit someone with them, blowing a kiss then looking back in that direction to check again. I'm sure the kiss was more than enough to clear him of all charges. The difficult vocal acrobatics were out in full force, going from a very high 'Let's da-a-a-ance' straight to a very low 'Dance with me...' staying perfectly on pitch towards the end. What another brilliant show, playing about with a bit of S&M just enough to whip our fantasies into a frenzy - it just keeps on getting better.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Adam is in the Building - Memphis

There still aren't any full-length captures of some of the performances, but here's what we've got so far:

Speculation before this leg of the tour concerned whether, in addition to channelling him though his hips and snarling lips, Adam would give a special nod to Elvis. That question was answered with his hair. It had been a long time since he last sang 'Woman' WLL and I was starting to think that he'd ditched it, but it was resurrected in a high-octane performance. I wasn't too keen on some of his improvised notes, jumping around a lot and thought his final note could have done with a little fine tuning. There isn't really enough footage on Starlight to comment as for some reason it seems to be the least captured. There's no good audio of MW at the moment either and only a partial Slow Ride. His voice during the Bowie medley seemed to sound less smooth than usual. I'm quite amazed that he sang through the krumping chest pumps and managed to keep his voice fairly steady. From looking at the video, he struggled a bit with a couple of the highest notes at the end and refrained from reaching and sustaining them. I think it sounded like he had a momentary frog in his throat. I'm not concerned about his voice as he knows how to look after it. As this was the last date on a run of four consecutive days of shows, there was some welcome rest afterwards, for him and for us obsessives.

Lotta Rock

What started off as just a tweak to a video at the first concert has escalated into all my time being swallowed up in watching and making videos. Maybe I'll take tomorrow off as I don't want to neglect the writing aspect of this blog, so hopefully something will come to me. It took a while, but these are the best videos I've been able to find:

This was one concert where Adam's fans probably didn't make up the bulk of the audience but that was no deterrent from putting on yet another incredible show. He attacked 'Baby' WLL with ferocity, bursting with adrenaline using emphasised movements and took a sneaky sip of water during the guitar solo. He was vocally flawless, riffing with lower notes and throwing in some jaw-dropping sustained high notes. It was touching that Adam spoke about Kris, showing his support and encouraging cheers for him throughout the set. Starlight and MW both sounded pitch perfect and the HQ video shows Adam enjoying himself with smiles. Before seeing the footage, my Bullshit Detector was on alert when I read the review that called Slow Ride "the night's most magical music moment" but I'm slowly coming round to it now. At the beginning of it, Adam seemed giddy with joy, his giggle very infectious. I challenge anyone to watch the first few seconds of the video and not end up with a big grin. Compared to his other songs on the tour, I hadn't been that big a fan of Slow Ride but this one's the best so far and just so much fun. He and Allison appeared to really be having a blast, cracking up near the end. It was very cute that Adam depicted Life On Mars's 'As she walks through her sunken dream' with walking fingers. There were some new dance moves that Adam added, which included pelvic thrusts à la top 7 dance and some krumping chest pumps on his interaction with the band. He was really on form and I think this may have been his best set yet, filled with feel-good factor and more than just a little rock.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tulsating Inches from the Ladies

I've now added very brief commentary to the posts from LA , Ontario, San Diego, Glendale and Dallas. There still aren't many full HQ videos from Tulsa, but here are the best so far:

Adam's hair looked quite tufty but great. Not-quite-so-perfect is more in keeping with the rock star persona as it makes you wonder what he got up to backstage just before coming on. It's hard to really tell what 'Baby' WLL was like from the videos, but Adam didn't give the crowd 'every inch' in this rendition or the accompanying thrust-and-chop action, just 'all' of his love. Starlight was beautifully expressive with a lovely low variation on 'expectaTIONS'. MW was solid and I find myself impressed that he never allows the shouts and screams to distract him and perturb the flow of the performance. It looks like the smoke machine was in Adamgasm mode during SR, which saw Adam and Allison have fun playing footy with a lacy coral bra. It was swung and flung back into the audience at an appropriate point in the music. The high notes of the Bowie medley were noticeably lower, which I'm putting down to conserving his voice but it didn't detract from the performance. He added an extra twirl and addressed the audience as 'ladies' rather than 'bitches', perhaps erring on the side of caution to avoid any possibility for accusations of misogyny from the conservative bible belt.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Then He Does Dallas

UPDATED 26/07/09 - Commentary after the videos
I'm almost caught up! Hope to be putting in the recaps from tomorrow. There are just so many videos to watch and not enough hours in the day. Here's my selection of the best ones from Dallas:

Adam was back with his slicker Elvis-like hairdo, which better shows off his cheekbones. I guess he's itching to change up his look a bit. I think the hair makes him look more confident and works well with WLL and the Bowie medley, but I think the other hairstyle works better for MW and Starlight. As his hair is getting longer, I'm getting a little concerned that it's forming a proto-mullet because you can see the start of a tail at the back. Even Adam cannot make me like the worst hairdo ever invented, ever. Seriously, the only thing worse than a mullet is if it's permed and comes with a comb-over.

WLL was the 'Baby' version again. It's been quite some time since he last sang 'Woman' but there were other lyrical changes. It was vocally awesome and he added a quick cheeky twirl up the steps. Starlight saw a bit more fiddling with his earpiece that I found distracting, but there were no issues this time in singing this very challenging song. I noticed that in SR, Adam started doing Allison's move, which is to wave her hand in the air every time he hits a high note. It's cute and I wonder if it's a shared joke between them. I liked that Life On Mars started off in a less dramatic voice than usual. There was ignored underwear thrown onto the stage as I think Adam is a little cautious about handling anything apart from bras. A rippling arms dance move was included as well as going for a sip of water. I felt that after a couple of days' rest, this set had renewed vitality with smoother vocals.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Zoning In On Glendale

UPDATED 26/07/09 - Commentary after the videos

I'll try to get back to writing properly soon but in the meantime, fee free to share your concert experiences in the comments. Here are my chosen Glendale vids:

'Baby' WLL was an excited and energetic performance which saw him bouncing and twirling and some amazing vocals. The mic stand stroking and humping was more explicit than ever and I'm sure that any pearl-clutchers would have produced a shimmering floor after violently yanking them off in screams of liberated ecstasy. The band were rocking out and the end of the song was quite different. I felt that Starlight had a bit of a shaky start which needed a little fine tuning. The transitions to and from Adam's falsetto weren't as smooth as usual but he recovered with a strong finish. MW saw a few variations in timing and he made the unusual move of drawing in his hand to cover his face at the end. There was some back-to-back and varied dancing with Allison who sounded a little strained during Slow Ride. Adam loosened up even more during the Bowie medley, which he appeared to really enjoy. He once again called the audience 'Bitches' followed by a 'Haha' and without looking, you know he said it with a playful glint in his eye. Many of the high notes were lowered but he still left in enough to wow the audience.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Pride of San Diego

UPDATED 26/07/09 - Commentary after the videos

I'm still dealing with the backlog so here's my video selection only for now:

The tour coincided with San Diego's LGBT Pride festival but the schedule meant it wasn't possible for Adam to attend. Still, pride filled the whole arena. Friends and fans were proud of his talent and transformation from an awkward teenager to his proudly gay and fabulous self.

The high notes of 'Baby' WLL hit stratospheric levels and the performance was very natural with Adam bouncing on his feet. He played about with the lyrics of Starlight, which sounded higher than usual. He didn't appear to have his usual control of a slightly weak falsetto. MW came with a very full and powerful belt, which I thought had been missing of late at 'Look right through me' and drew a huge reaction from the crowd. I liked that he reverted to the higher 'very very' near the end, which he hadn't really done since AI. Slow Ride also saw thrilling high notes along with some swaying. It looked as if Adam was leading the dancing, with Allison following and mirroring his moves. He really went for it during the Bowie medley with very pronounced movements and astoundingly high notes. There was a blue feather boa that Adam incorporated although the swinging landed it behind him rather than back into the crowd. He finished off with an unusual descending run. What an electrifying performance on his return home.

In Full Flow - Ontario

UPDATED 26/07/09 - Commentary after the videos
My guests have just left so I can now get back to this obsession. I'm exhausted and will be playing catch-up for a little while so apologies for my lack of writing. Here's my video selection from Ontario:

Adam's hair was looking a bit different at this stop on the tour, his feathery spikes longer and rising further from his head. 'Baby' WLL I thought was vocally brilliant, powerful with great riffs, especially towards the end and seemed to be sung in a lower key. I felt that Adam seemed at ease, moving loosely. The lighting person again monumentally failed because the 'Baby, you need' mic molesting moment was censored by the darkness, only visible from the floor uplighting. Starlight was beautiful with Adam's voice sounding strong and grainier than usual. After listening carefully for the nuances of MW, I realised that it's his quivering vibrato, his whispering and the reverb effect that gives it such a haunting ethereal quality. There are times when he sounds strained in order to provide emotional depth to the performance. The change in 'very very' added a nice touch but I think the echo should have been turned down a little because it detracted a little from the glory note. There was a lot of head-bobbing and smiling during Slow Ride which was fun. I felt he tuned down the high notes a little but he changed up the melody to great effect. The Bowie medley started off in quite a camp voice, the high notes were a bit lower but Adam wriggled around very fluidly. Yet another thoroughly entertaining set.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Our Studded Star Returns To Star-Studded LA

UPDATED 26/07/09 - Commentary after the videos
I'm sorry I'm going to have to skip the recaps for now otherwise I'll never manage to catch up. I'm a few concerts behind because I've had visitors and have needed to be a good host. Here's my video selection from LA:

I was excited for the LA leg of the tour to see how Adam's adoptive home town would receive him, expecting the roof to be blasted off into intergalactic space. There was incredible energy bursting out of him during 'Womaaan' WLL, made especially evident by his jumping around during the guitar solo. He stomped about with purpose, stroking and grinding with zeal like an alpha male before giving us a twirl. The lighting person here was made of fail for keeping the spotlight above the waist. There was great riffing but I found the final 'yeah' to be a little strange and off-key. It was however well synchronised with the background graphics - if you're getting sucked into a collapsing star you betcha the doppler effect is going to affect your sound! Mad World was flawless, the sound balance making him sound more sonorous. I especially loved the low and quivering first 'sorrow'. His voice on Starlight sounded rich and velvety and he moved about the stage more. Slow Ride saw a great introduction from Adam but I thought he and Allison sounded a little dissonant in parts and their voices didn't harmonise too well. It was the first time I noticed the backing singers throwing their arms up in the air. Adam seemed to have a minor hiccup when removing his jacket as it didn't want to come off. Ever the professional, he added a turn on the fly to give him an extra couple of seconds. On so many of the videos posted, I'm noticing more than ever that Adam's head often gets cut out when his snake hips are wriggling. It seems that everyone is completely mesmerised by them. He smiled, really seeming to enjoy himself, which was infectious. It flowed really well, his high notes went even higher and I loved that he felt comfortable enough to order his 'bitches' to get up and dance, to which they promptly obeyed.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Reduced Salt Lake City

I'm really busy at the moment so posts may be a little short for the next week. I'll edit in a summary after I've managed to watch all the performances fully. Here's my selection:

Adam toned down the sexual aggression for a conservative West Valley City. There was less crotch-rubbing and hip-swivelling. The mic stand was left unfondled and I lamented the absence of a thrust to illustrate 'every inch' and his beckoning finger in a 'Woman'(with a great flourish) WLL. It meant that the focus was more on his vocals and he improvised much more. Starlight was smooth and flawless, with small changes in the melody. The instrumentals in Mad World seemed to lag a little behind in tempo at the start but there was a strong connection with the audience. There was more fun and ad-libbing in Slow Ride and another black bra hit the stage but was ignored during the Bowie medley. It was less restrained than the comparatively tentative WLL so I think Adam used the crowd reaction to decide on the level of camp.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Cover

I know it's been a long time, but I just wanted to comment on that cover. I'd been waiting for it to arrive here in the UK for what seemed like forever but now I have it in my possession. Thank you so much to everyone who generously offered to send me a copy! When I called up the nearest big newsagent asking whether they had RS and who was on the cover, the reply was 'That bloke who won American Idol.' It amused me that Adam Lambert has the power to alter history.

When I got there, I looked for the green amongst the myriad of music mags and found one copy peeking out. My face dropped a little when I picked it up and saw that the cover was dog-eared. I searched the rack and found one more copy hiding behind a pile of Q magazines (I'm sorry to the Glambert who probably hid it and hope this blog makes up for any bad karma!) so snatched it up quickly. When I got home, I realised it was a less-than-perfect copy. There must have been a bit of a printing mishap because there were various ink splotches on the photo of Adam applying eyeliner. It does detract a little from the picture but could also look like a deliberate effect so I gave it points for uniqueness (continued after photo).

Adam Lambert Wild Idol Rolling Stones cover green snake

Even though I'd seen it and read the article from scans, I still found myself staring at the photo for some time. It's an incredibly arresting, erotic photo and the first thing that struck me were those eyes. They are thickly lined and intense and see straight through to your deepest buried secrets. His head is angled so he's looking slightly down, showing who's in charge of that power struggle. He's playing with you because he knows your darkest desires and wants you to explore them. The self-assured 'come hither' expression, the barrier of arms out of the way, the very dilated pupils and the open mouth are suggestive of a state of arousal, daring you to try to see if you can handle what's next on that messy unmade bed, or whatever fiery impulses lead to.

The next thing I was drawn to was the crotch area and the luminous green python with its forked tongue licking out. That snake is truly a thing of beauty - I never knew they came in such brilliant shades of colour. It was Adam's idea to use the snake in the shot, alluding to the Garden of Eden and wanting people to question the concept of morality. Then there's the starry butterfly next to it, which was the stylist's idea. There's a lot of symbolism to be made of what these elements mean. The snake embodies temptation (you know you want it, quit resisting and just succumb to your infernal desires, bitch!) but is in itself phallic, and the way it rests on his crotch could point towards his homosexuality. The butterfly is quite feminine, complemeting the masculinity of the snake and perhaps representing Adam's experimentation with masculinity, femininity and androgyny. I think it reinforces his belief in the universality of attraction and the fluid nature of sexuality. It could also symbolise Adam's liberation in finally spreading his wings after emerging from the safe conformist middle-America-pleasing AI chrysalis to reveal his true fabulous nature. Next I'm drawn to the chest, exposed by his unbuttoned shirt, and the notice the stubble. There seems to be a tie draped over his neck, which adds a kinky S&M element to it. His wrists are inviting to be tied up and he's willing to be submissive whilst remaining domineering. The thick ruffled hair begs to be grabbed onto - you'll need to hold on for the ride of your life.

The Rockstar Adam photo simmers and is reminiscent of Jim Morrison but with more clothes on. The composition is superb, I love the understated colour and the areas with the strongest contrasts lure you to the two focal points: face/crotch crotch/face, one leading to the other, and we're torn between the two. It's one sexy MF of a cover which I feel is another one of those full circle moments where he started on the Idol stage doing a Rolling Stones cover only to end up as the cover of Rolling Stone.

Monday, 13 July 2009

Leading The Way To San Jose

I'm a little behind at the moment I'm afraid, and relentlessly trying to keep up has been eating up a disturbing amount of my life. The tour is on a pretty gruelling schedule so last night's break was a very welcome one. Here is my selection and a very brief summary:

Adam styled his hair differently into a pompadour with what looked like a fauxhawk at the back, before the concert. I wasn't sure it would work with the outfit, being a bit too slick, but he worked it nonetheless. He looked a bit like Elvis's slightly sinister and twisted twin from a futuristic and dark dimension. It was also the concert that involved the first protest by a small group of loonies, which was an embarrassingly pathetic lame-ass effort because no one could understand what the fuck they were protesting about. The Chinese Whispers of Twitter presented numerous possibilities, but it's still a bit of a mystery to me.

'Baby' Whole Lotta Love saw another different improvisation of the guitar solo and some different moves that involved a little stomping. I noticed that when he humped the mic stand, his hips were in darkness as the spotlight tried to stay above the waist. The song ended with a fantastic extended riff on last note reminiscent of BTBW. Mad World seems to have become an anthem with the audience singing along, swaying to it. The tempo of Starlight was upped a little to be more energetic and Adam was more animated. The harmonies in Slow Ride sounded a little dissonant, especially at the beginning and the smoke machine seemed be having a bit of an Adamgasm, losing control of its functions as it flooded the stage. The performance is continuing to evolve with increased ad-libbing from both Adam and Allison. Life on Mars was dramatically sung, with a very camp 'cavemen go'. The new hairdo suited Adam's sans-jacket outfit during Fame and Let's Dance much more, and he danced with a little more spontaneity. Adam really does know how to keep us talking doesn't he? How many of us are currently trying to predict what he's going to do to his hair for the next stop on the tour?

Wiping The Floor With All Else - Oakland

I'm glad Oakland was much better for videos - here is my selection so far. I'm in the process of editing some of them so will re-embed when I'm done. Watch out for updates of previous shows too, or just check my YouTube. I didn't think I'd end up spending so much time doing up the videos from what started out as just a sound tweak, but that's the nature of obsession.

With his mother in the audience, Adam with slightly flatter hair was on top form in his 'Womaaaaaaaan' rendition of WLL and it seemed like he was fully revved up having recovered from his headache. He was so sexually charged, I half expected a rainbow-coloured lightning bolt to shoot out of his hoo-haa. Even the lighting made it seem like it was on fire. His hand gravitated towards his crotch much more and his 'Every inch' was thrusted at the audience like a sexual predator. Perhaps that's why the big screens tend to only shoot him from the waist up. He managed to get all the lyrics to rhyme this time, and the guitar solo was different. The vocals were strong and he took liberties with his riffing, especially on his incredible end note.

During Starlight, his voice slid effortlessly, working in a beautiful vibrato. Mad World was again a strong performance where he sounded supernatural. Slow Ride saw Adam demonstrate his stage awareness and consideration when he spotted something on the floor then got a towel to mop it up. He even used the towel as a prop, swinging it to incorporate it into his performance. Both Adam and Allison increased their improvising, and Adam in his excitement gave us a couple of side kicks. The Bowie medley saw another bra on the stage, a black one this time and his deep growly 'Yeeaaah!' reaction was priceless. Again, he chose a part of the performance to work it into so as not to disrupt the flow. His dance moves varied and seemed looser and less rehearsed. Overall, I think this was his best set yet. His vocals were flawless and strong, those big notes were elongated and higher than ever, and energy just exploded out of him.

All the reviews of Adam's performances have been extremely positive so far. Even the hardened AI cynics and music snobs have been converted in spite of their resistance. Almost all regard Adam's set as the high point of the concert and the rest as something to endure. He's not only wiped the floor with a towel but with the rest of the contestants too. A solo tour can't come soon enough.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Sacramento Going Mental

This one's a bit late as I was waiting for better videos to surface as the early ones tended to be shot from a distance. I'm reducing the number of posts on the home page so it won't take forever to load but you can still find the older ones on the archive on the right.

Perceptions of the tour performances are built from the video footage and their quality. I'm viewing Adam through the lenses of cameras and my experience is dependent upon their limitations. I mention this because initially, I thought that Adam's movements weren't quite as pronounced as usual. I also noticed that on a couple of the songs his transitions to and from his falsetto didn't sound very smooth. I realised that much of this was due to prior knowledge that Adam had a killer headache and that the first videos were shot from a distance, giving the illusion of attenuated moves. The subsequent footage told a different story though, and he delivered another blazing set. I particularly liked that he threw in a multiple orgasm (double helping of extended Lu-oo-u-oo-u-oo-ove! glory note) into his 'baby' version of WLL. He again added variations in his riffs and timing to make each performance unique.

Adam has stated before that his time in theatre gave him the ability to perform night after night, but there isn't enough credit I can give to him for being able to perform like that with a headache. I'd wuss out and stay in bed so I cannot even begin to comprehend how he can operate with the flashing lights, the smoke, the loudness, singing those difficult songs, the high notes, not to mention those ear-splitting screams from the audience. Just wow. More proof he's from another planet or someone needs to give him a fucking medal.

When watching the videos, I find myself grinning wildly when I hear the erupting excitement of the crowds. I can't express how much I want to see Adam perform live because as he's said many times, much gets lost when it's packaged into a video and the overall effect is reduced. Yes, you can see, you can hear, but you can't really feel the effect of his voice or his glittery aura. You don't feel the buzz in the arena or the energy and music reverberating through your whole body or that you're drowning in a sea of squee. You can't taste the anticipation or feel the starstruck heat rising up inside of you or smell the vapour of a collective arena igniting in horniness. He's only just begun and I'm telling myself that whatever I feel about the videos, I'll need to multiply it by infinity to get a better idea of The Adam Lambert Experience. I wonder if we can handle it when he's fully hit his stride.

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bra Remover In Vancouver

It seems that the organisers in Vancouver were quite stringent in not allowing the audience to film the performances, so I've been waiting for good quality videos to surface. Here is my selection so far in a playlist, although I'll update if better ones emerge and maybe do some more video editing to get the complete performances.

Adam sang Baby instead of Woman on WLL. He didn't seem to thrust and gyrate as much as he did in Tacoma, but he did straddle the mic stand and stroke it suggestively. I found it hilarious and it's great that he's not really toning himself down. He seems to be getting off on being provocative on stage and the audience is lapping it up and loving it, and he in turn is feeding off their Adamgasmic screams. Starlight is again just beautiful and really showcases his voice. It's the performance that most reminds me of RoF when he wails, sliding smoothly up and down his vocal register. His arm movements and positioning also are very reminiscent of RoF. There seem to be a rare few shaky falsetto notes in this rendition of Mad World. I think he has much better control of his belting than his falsetto when he's going for the high notes. The only time I think I've heard anything less than pitch perfect is when he's using his falsetto. Still, it's an enchanting performance with some more variations and I love the graininess in his voice on his second Happy birthday.

And there's the underwear throwing on Slow Ride which kind of overshadowed the performance a little. Perhaps it was knocking on the door of inappropriate with Allison being young, but I think that had it been a solo and had Allison not thrown the bra towards him, it would probably have been ignored seeing as he is so absorbed in his performances. It was hilarious how he dealt with the fuchsia-coloured bra - swinging it above his head before throwing it back out without missing or even wavering on his high note. I'm not sure exactly how many pieces of underwear were thrown on stage in total. There seemed to be a pair of knickers and another unidentified piece of clothing on the floor too. Despite the bra incident, Adam's movements seemed to me a little more muted than the previous show's. Allison's high Adam-like wail towards the end sounded great and it was a fun performance.

Adam was again fiddling with his earpiece during the Bowie medley where there was a lot more reverb effect. I'm wondering if there were more sound issues, or whether it's a nervous habit. People noticed him tugging his ear when he landed in the bottom three, and I also noticed it on some interviews. He once again wriggled and snaked his way around the stage for another sizzling performance.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Travelling Far To Second Stop Tacoma

My, how much improvement was there between the two shows? There are 48 more to go so I hope you're not feeling fatigued already. After again sifting through the videos, here is my selection of visually the best quality ones in a playlist.

There were some marked differences between the Tacoma and Portland performances. In Whole Lotta Love, Adam didn't mess up his lyrics this time, and it was a more assured performance from him. We didn't get the naughty pelvic thrust but he seemed a lot more overtly sexual, touching himself and humping the mic stand. He sang Woman instead of Baby and I much preferred this Love glory note like he did on AI to the abbreviated one in Portland. Adam enjoyed and seemed more absorbed in this performance of Starlight. He still fiddled with his earpiece but he was much more physically expressive and freer in his movements, using his whole body to wring out a voice loaded with emotion. He swayed a lot more during this performance of Mad World with some minor changes to the phrasing and I loved the run he added to penultimate world. Near the beginning of the Slow Ride clip, he momentarily forgot to sing into his mic, which he laughed off. This performance seemed a lot more fun and energetic with increased improvisation and riffing. Adam wasn't afraid to set free more of his vocal acrobatics and I liked the descending run on the final Slow. There was a slight wardrobe change for the Bowie medley, where Adam wore a waistcoat over his vest. I guess he thought it was more flattering. His dancing was more fluid, perhaps because we got a better camera angle, but I thought he slinked around the stage like a feline.

There was still a lot of playing with his earpiece during most of the songs, so I hope all the sound issues get ironed out soon. I felt that Adam eased himself in to make the stage his home, being much less restrained, allowing himself more freedom and thus appearing more relaxed and comfortable. It all looked less premeditated, flowing more organically and made his performance in Portland seem tentative in comparison. The prospect of knowing that Adam is going to continue to improve with each peformance is an exciting one and you have to wonder whether there are any limits.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

That Jacket!

Sunday was not only the premiere of Adam's Starlight and David Bowie medley performances but heralded the debut of The Jacket. Yes, it was time to finally don the jacket that he (and Kris) got so excited about way back in an interview shortly after Idol finished. We caught a glimpse of it during 20/20, he told us it was leather with spikes and detachable tails, and then he gave us another peek when he tweeted us a photo of it.

He was so excited about wearing it, it was infectious and endearing. It has, as expected, plenty of embellishents in rivets, spikes, grommets, panels and rhinestones. The colour of the leather is a greyish green and looks like it was unevenly spray-painted with a deep electric metallic blue. I assume that was part of its customisation. On first seeing the spikes, they were smaller than I expected. I think I expected them to be along the magnitude of those shoulder cages he wore during his KISS performance. He wore it with verve so it didn't seem OTT and strangely looked quite classy, just as he did against KISS and their more vulgar ensembles. Coming from a theatre background, I think Adam understands the distinction between the roles of costuming and clothing more than most. This jacket leans more towards the costume side and belonged with him there on that big stage.

I thought the whole look was fabulous, and the jacket is like an eerie iridescent exoskeleton. The tails conjure up images of him as a rocking circus ringmaster ruling his twisted post-apocalyptic glittery blue world filled with giant fantastical arthropods and magical mysterious creatures. I feel that the jacket is a little like armour, representing our debilitating fear of being, following, and expressing ourselves freely. When he took it off, he shed the AI image, proudly showing us a camper, sexier side with his dancing and revealing more flesh than we'd seen on the show. It wouldn't surprise me because of his passion for fashion, that he might draw inspiration from a piece of clothing to build upon. He successfully achieved his vision of “post-apocalyptic-rocked-out-space-disco-funk” with the jacket, the moves, the lighting and all the backdrops of planets and stars and galaxies and disco-balls. You have to admire that he probably worked out the all visual aspects and staging in minute detail to deliver us pure other-worldly escapist pleasure. He is showing us how it's done, proving himself to be the Glittery Alien From Planet Fierce.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Feeling Green - Portland OR

I'm envious of everyone who managed to see Adam in concert yesterday. I'm only able to experience it through others' accounts and videos that they took and have kindly posted. I've been sifting through the media from the concert and have posted the best visual quality ones I've found so far in a playlist, although they may well change as more videos surface.

Digital cameras are such a blessing but also a curse. In most of the videos, there are about 50 other cameras filming the same thing. Multiply that by 50 for every tour date and we end up with information overload. While it's a great souvenir to experience over and over, and is fantastic for everyone who wasn't there, I also think the age of digital cameras have taken something away from the concert experience. Gone are the days of waving hands and lighters in the air, singing along and feeling the full force of the atmosphere and music. I've been guilty of it myself in the past, but at so many gigs, I've been annoyed at the sea of LCD displays obstructing my view of what was going on stage and feel that people are missing much of the concert by experiencing it through their cameras. They hold back from dancing in order to keep it steady, avoid singing along to get better audio and are busily concentrating on capturing the moment on camera rather than capturing everything about such a thrilling experience through all their senses and emotions. I would be too selfish to do any filming myself as seeing Adam live in concert would need my full undivided attention, but for all those who did film and did sacrifice a little of the experience for the rest of us, THANK YOU!

My initial thoughts are that Whole Lotta Love is my favourite (and yours too, by the looks of the poll) for its electrifying buzz in making me want to jump up and go nuts; Starlight is my favourite in terms of the melody, song and breathtaking vocals; the Bowie Medley for Adam's letting loose allowing us to see a side of him we didn't on AI with his sensual dance moves; and Mad World for drawing us in with its emotion. I also liked Slow Ride but prefer that he didn't share the stage. The audio isn't great quality but I think there were a few sound issues as he seemed to be fiddling with his earpiece quite a lot. I didn't think the instrumentals in the Bowie medley were quite up to scratch. The bass didn't seem to be heavy enough to jolt everyone out of their seats, but Adam's voice is still a powerful thing of beauty. Damn, I wish I could see him live!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Kiss Don't Tell

The recent photos of a Kiss and Tell performance at Society got me thinking how glad I am at the absence of any sordid kiss and tell stories about Adam surfacing and being sold to the tabloids. There weren't actually any big scandals at all this season, with the closest thing being the kissing photos. They usually happen when media interest is at its peak so whoever sells the stories can really milk it. The most likely time I thought this would happen was around the final and I was relieved that there was nothing. But does it mean that the kiss and tellers don't think the peak has been reached so they're biding their time until Adam really achieves superstardom for the big bucks? Is there a Sword of Damocles waiting to drop?

I think it's fairly safe to assume that Adam's had an exciting life with plenty of outrageous stories behind him, probably involving things that are too shocking for conservative America to handle. I'd love to go out and get hammered with him, talk random shit and exchange mad stories about trippy experiences, maybe over a smoke. Yes, want to know all about them, but only from his own mouth if he chooses to tell me. I think it was wise to be so candid in the RollingStone interview because it means that people will just roll their eyes if someone tries to sell a story about the things mentioned. If he has led a crazy exciting life seasoned with the risqué, is it surprising that there've been no kiss and tells?

There is stereotype of a large section of the gay community being highly promiscuous. I have a gay friend who made my jaw drop when he told me the number of sexual partners he'd had in the course of a few months. I wonder where he gets all that stamina from! I also have hetero friends whose bedrooms have been fitted with revolving doors. I also wonder how they deal with the whole headfuck aspect of it all. There is a difference in how they are viewed though, and I feel that if you're a gay male, you're more likely to have a label slapped upon you as being part of a 'scene' where you indiscriminately screw around. I don't have any statistics so it's impossible for me to say whether the label is in part justified. I think the point I'm trying to make here is that the likelihood of these types of stories appearing increases with promiscuity.

Adam has revealed in an interview that he's spent his twenties looking for love. His relationships have been few and far between, and he's only been in love once. I think this helps to challenge that stereotype of gay men cruising for no-strings sex and makes him seem like more of an old-fashioned romantic. Yes, gay men can also be romantic and idealistic and it seems Adam is a good example of that. His detractors would argue though, that his lack of relationships could be interpreted to mean plenty of debauched casual sex as he doesn't currently consider Drake as his boyfriend, and the reason no stories have leaked is because of an unwritten code of conduct. I was a little surprised when he mentioned Drake by name to say that they were dating, as it's leaning towards kiss and tell territory, but afterwards when I thought about it again, the site that did the interview had already written about them as a couple and I realised he'd said it to nip those sensational 'Lambry Split!' type of headlines in the bud before it got out of hand.

Kiss and Tell, which he wrote, isn't about a tabloid kind of scandal but I think rather a song about feelings that aren't reciprocated. The lyrics initially suggest some level of promiscuity with 'I've had lots of lovers, And everyone knows it' and a certain nonchalant, liberal attitude towards sex in a casual liaison, after which your big mouth lands you into trouble. On closer inspection, I think it's about more than that because the rushy excitement and positivity suggest that real feelings are involved. I'm inclined to think it's about feeling a little hurt after being chastised for jumping the gun, assuming and announcing a relationship with someone who either wasn't ready for a relationship or who wanted to disassociate themselves from you. It's about frustration with your partner not feeling comfortable with being 'out' as a couple. Most of us have been there and I feel that the song comes from a personal place. If the song is autobiographical, it may be why he has denied that Drake is his boyfriend out of fear of being stung again by making that assumption. Of course he may have just simply written the song based on observations of those from the club scene who can easily identify with the situation, who knows?

Adam is sweet, charming, and gets on well with almost anyone. Of those who have been graced by his glittery aura, who would want to hurt him by selling their story? He's had plenty of opportunity to make enemies so far, but I can count up all the negative encounters on one hand, which is pretty good going. People are taken by him and he has left no one in his wake feeling hurt and bitter enough to spill the beans yet. As far as I can tell, he still appears to get on with his exes although this is pure conjecture on my part based on his relationship with Cheeks, who allegedly rejected an offer to tell all, and the example set by his parents. He's been careful not to make enemies of the media and paps with diva behaviour, always showing kindness and consideration even if they were being downright rude. This has set him in good stead. I think he understands the importance of being on good terms with the tabloid media, and if the public is overwhelmingly on your side, it's not unknown for the tabloids to help you stamp out these stories. There are plenty of examples of them demonising the opportunists instead of selling the scandal.

I think Adam chooses who he mixes with carefully, with his peers being involved in the creative industries and likely to share similar experiences, attitudes and mindsets. If any of them were to sell him out, surely they'd damage themselves more than Adam, and they'd be ostracised like lepers. Many of his circle of friends live on the cusp of fame, trying to break through and wouldn't lower themselves to be tainted by the tabloid buck. Anyone who tries to sell Adam out would also incur the wrath of his not-to-be-messed-with fans, who would be quick to fiercely jump on them based on Want-gate and #gokeyisadouche-gate. After all, what goes around comes around, and they would forever need to watch their backs. We all know never to make an enemy out of Adam because he can easily outwit anyone, paint them purple, dye their hair blue, dress them up in feathers and apply sparkly makeup on them before they can even finish their diss. And by the time they get to that point, they've lost their train of thought when they realise they've been made to look ridiculous because they're actually digging their new appearance.

Kiss and tell scandals depend on your behaviour, how you treat people and who you get involved with. From all the evidence so far, Adam has kept the risk of this happening fairly minimal. The fact that there's been nothing so far, and unless someone is extremely careless, I expect and hope there'll be kissing but no telling in the future.