Tuesday, 29 September 2009
For the Bestudded Glittery Anoraks
Since we're all famished, here's a little something for us anoraks to nibble on while we wait. It was shortly after the end of AI and before the start of the tour in that bored gap, much like now, that I wanted to watch all the dress rehearsal clips to see how they compared to those of the live performances. Edit: The dress rehearsal clips were those shown in the recap package at the end of the show. I wanted to obsess over how every performance was unique and I wanted to compare Adam's notes and runs. But after scouring the internet, I realised they were nowhere to be found. Surely I couldn't be the only one who wanted this? The seeds of the idea for this post were planted and would germinate on a rainy day. After days of downloading the full episodes just to get those few seconds, here's the resulting video:
I remember that Satisfaction was a performance in which Adam really outshone the rest of the pack and stood out as a star with his jaw-dropping vocals, his sense of fun and his exhilarating infectious energy. I just felt that he didn't belong on Idol and deserved a bigger stage and audience. The live final note was incredible - its length, the run and the rough guttural rock edge of its tone. I didn't know at the time that they showed footage filmed from the dress rehearsal for the numbers at the end, so on seeing it that first time, there was a slight discord with my previous impression and I was a little underwhelmed because I'd thought I'd remembered it being better. The rehearsal wasn't as elaborate, but what was more noticeable to me was that there was an off note sandwiched in the middle which made the glory note sound just a little flat. His posture seemed a little tentative and comparatively amateurish, but the rehearsal did give us that gem of an expression at the end, going from fierce sexy to sweet smile - the subject of many gifs. The reprise note was much simpler, more sustained and powerful. Instead of riffing, he slid into the glory note for a wail that sounded a lot like Axl Rose.
The live performance of BoW was angrier, more impassioned and included higher notes, but the rehearsal had a slightly different feel to it that was more fun. Adam bounced up the steps, gave us an extra dance move instead of reversing backwards and added a 'Wooh!' at the end. He also missed out the 'Yes you do, yeah yeah!' but in exchange, we got some signature head tipping.
The vocals in the live performance of RoF were impeccable whereas in rehearsal they weren't as smooth but utilised more of his rich and gravelly tone. There wasn't the same level of camera engagement from Adam and it didn't have the infamous shirt-lifting moment, but the camerawork was a lot less dizzying and perhaps would have made the pearl-clutching prudes slightly less queasy.
I'd always thought ToMT was one of the weaker performances from a vocal perspective and is one where I prefer the dress rehearsal to the live. This is because of the tone, which sounded slightly less strained and more on pitch, and I also prefer the extended trill on the last 'tears'. Adam seemed to have more fun during the live version of PTFM but crucially, it missed the pelvic thrusts and snarl of the rehearsal. You have to wonder how often there was a party going on downstairs whenever they filmed above the waist.
It was only after MW that I became aware of the existence of the separate rehearsal clip when I heard a different, pitch-perfect ending and not the one I'd heard just seconds before. In the rehearsal, the penultimate 'Ma-ad' was given two notes and he didn't reach for the third, higher 'Mad world' at the end which gave him the trouble in the live performance.
BTBW showcased some astonishing high notes which seemed to all have been saved for the live performance because the glory note shown in the rehearsal clip was considerably lower. The power and pitch of them still amaze me now. There wasn't a lot of difference between the IICHYs apart from slight differences in timing with the timbre equally beautiful in both.
The big difference between both FGs is the length of the glory note. The live one is much longer albeit a little thin. I prefer the slightly shorter glory note with the longer descending run in the rehearsal but I thought the last note of the run wasn't quite as perfect. Still, who the fuck else can hold a note like that? And let's not forget the close-up shot of his disdainful and slightly sinister sneer at the end of the rehearsal.
I was blown away by WLL first time round, so it's a bit strange watching it now after seeing 52 different versions from the tour and their aggressively sexual manoeuvres. He looks so restrained! There's very little difference between the live and the rehearsal apart from the camera angles where we get a better view of Adam's neck snap & swivel.
Both versions of One are very similar and that glory note never fails to impress me. In rehearsal, he didn't palm the air and went into the glory note from a slightly higher note and didn't go so low at the end of the run. There's a minor difference in the length of the final notes from Cryin' but they're otherwise identical. The MW reprise is much slower in tempo during the rehearsal, which includes a great shot from below with the 'moon' behind Adam. I much prefer the live version of ACIGC where the descent is smoother and I really love the way that the run re-ascends. Apart from the camera angles, there's no noticeable difference between the live and rehearsal versions of NB where even the hand gestures at the same. I guess there's little to play with when you're handed such a piece of uninspiring crap.
Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed obsessing over the live vs rehearsal notes with me. I've had a miserable time, am tired of editing videos and have had writer's block, unsatisfied with anything I've put together so I thought I'd just wrap up the rest of the AI stuff and draw a line under it as we impatiently await a new phase, legs a-shaking, fingers a-tapping, ready to lose our collective shit. I think I need loss of said shit for gain in inspiration!