Sexy, sultry, and sensational. Three words that not only described Sydney’s fabulous weather on Saturday night, but also the first night of Adam Lambert’s two concerts in the Emerald City.
Beloved since he first crossed our radar on the eighth season of American Idol, an Adam Lambert concert comes with a swag of expectations. And he doesn’t disappoint. With a number of elaborate costume changes, a wicked sense of fun, and the gift of being able to connect and engage with every single member of the audience, Lambert goes big, goes loud, and smoulders from the get go. As the house lights are extinguished, a multimedia backdrop lights up ending up spelling out “ADAM”. As the electro pop reaches a crescendo, Lambert appears – posing in silhouette atop a podium centre stage. An almighty roar erupts throughout the Enmore Theatre and you know you’re in for a party tonight.
And party we did. The Original High Tour, as Lambert describes it, is a “journey”. Split into three distinct moods, (getting rid of his anger, followed by a slow down, chilled out, relaxing session, only to end with a climatic dance party), Lambert effortlessly takes the audience along with him, showcasing his new album amidst some of his greatest hits and a number of evocative covers.
Opening strongly with “Evil in the Night,” by the time he segued into “For Your Entertainment” the crowd was rocking. As he exorcised his demons with hits like “Ghost Town,” “Underground,” and “Rumors,” he finished the first act declaring that he had gotten all his anger out.
Taking the pace down a notch, but certainly not the energy, he moved into a chilled period that included a cover of P!nk’s “Whataya Want From Me,” and “Another Lonely Night” from his new album. However, it was his chilling slowed down version of Tears for Fears “Mad World” that moved the crowd. After the high intensity, in-your-face energy of the preceding songs, this spooky cover enabled Lambert’s impressive vocals to shine, reminding us once again that stripped away of the glitz, glamour and showmanship, Lambert has one hell of an amazing set of pipes and while all of the rest of it makes the Adam Lambert show, you could just as easily watch him perform a whole concert simply seated on a stool singing and walk away totally content.
Having regrouped, it was time to party and party we did. With hits such as “Shady,” “Fever,” “Trespassing” and an amazing medley of “The Light”/”The Original High”/”Never Close Our Eyes”, Lambert and his supporting dancers showed off their stunning choreography and, letting loose, we soared to that incredible high.
Adding to the celebratory mood were the two tributes to two of Lambert’s idols and forebears… the late, great David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. As had been a custom since the passing of Bowie last month, Lambert lead an energised, rousing rendition of “Just Dance” that had the entire venue doing just that. This was followed shortly by the brilliant Queen cover, “Another One Bites The Dust”.
Supporting Lambert was American singer/songwriter Melanie Martinez. Martinez is best known for appearing in the third season of the US The Voice and for her single “Carousel” being featured in American Horror Story: Freak Show. Surprisingly entertaining, she certainly didn’t have the cookie-cutter style of a singing reality TV star (similar to Lambert). While her stage presence and writing has a lot of potential, her sound and voice were powerful and lived up the room, and was a great opening act for Lambert.
Going into the gig, we knew that Lambert would be good and it would be a solid 90 minutes or so of high class entertainment. What was surprising was the lack of gimmicky spectacle. Yes, there were a number of wild and wonderful costume changes, and yes, there was some amazingly slick choreographed dance numbers, but on the whole it was just Lambert and what he could do… his voice and his body and boy did none of those disappoint. Without the extraneous set pieces and over-the-top production values, Lambert was able to be raw, honest, and spectacular. He honestly didn’t need any of the other stuff to have us all eating out of the palm of his hand. A well-structured, good fun journey and one of the best gigs I’ve been to in a long time.
Adam Lambert has now wrapped his Australasian leg of the tour. He has a one off show in Dubai on February 12 before heading stateside to kick of the US and European legs late February.
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