Friday, 18 September 2009

Twisting the Dial

It's been a couple of days since the end of the tour after which there have been some unexpected goodies. First of all, there was the release of a video yesterday giving us a glimpse of Adam's ideas of putting on a spectacle for the Zodiac Show:

We had a better idea at the beginning of the tour how much Adam held back during AI. We'd already seen his performances at the Zodiac Show but were never sure how much he had to just follow directions and how much of it came from him. This article from way back suggested that Adam had a fair amount of control, but until seeing this video, I never realised the extent to which his ideas were tamed. I love his child-like enthusiasm that makes his requests impossibly difficult to resist. The comment about 'Those albino dudes from the Matrix' not having the desired effect and his reaction is very reminiscent of Simon's and Rocky Horror. At least he didn't waste the outfit idea, which I would describe as Glamazonian warrior ice-queen.

I have to wonder about the timing of the release of the video because I believe it to be deliberate. Was it to keep up the buzz? Was it a present to his fans? I'm inclined to think that its purpose is to prime us for what's to come in terms of the visual performance aspect. In the same manner in that if he had first appeared on AI with his tour antics, he would have irreparably alienated many. But by the time the tour came along people were somewhat prepared. He was still contained during the tour so now it's time to crank it up a notch. I think a lot was learned by testing the waters with RoF about how far to push the envelope and stay on the right side of the line. This video seems to say 'You ain't seen nothing yet. This is me, this is my art, this is my direction, these are my crazy-ass ideas, so get ready bitches!' The Zodiac Show is already pretty far out, but if even there he had to make compromises, you have to wonder what the mind-blowing extravaganza will be if he's given full artistic license to do exactly as he pleases. With rumours of the next single being 'Strut' and a music video ready, how far will he dial up the avant garde? Exciting times await.

Reminiscent of the transition between RoF and ToMT, we see another huge contrast between that video and Adam's appearance at the corporate event today where he dialled it right back down with a bare natural look and honeyed voice entirely appropriate for the situation.

Here are Starlight, Tracks of my Tears, Mad World, Crazy (duet with Kris):

Pre-performance banter

Starlight is sung in a manner very similar to the GMA performance and it was a pleasant surprise to hear acoustic ToMT again despite being so short. It was all about the voice, which lingers long after the peformance. Even though I've heard MW so many times, I appreciate hearing a version with acoustic guitar. The sparseness of the arrangement makes it a beautiful lament and the purity of those final notes are just breathtaking. The banter before the duet is worth watching as Adam effortlessly charms the whole room with his charisma, you can't help but smile. Crazy is a little frustrating for me though, as Kris seems to be straining while Adam has to restrain himself to try to make the duet work. It would have been too jarring for Adam to go all-out but that's what we all wanted.

The last couple of days have reminded us again just how dynamic and versatile Adam is. If I were to hazard a guess, the tour performances would sit somewhere near the middle. During today's performances, he dialled it right down but for the Zodiac Show, we know he didn't crank it up fully. My thoughts are that he's been tweaking up the dial in stages so that we don't all explode. One thing I'm really itching to know is - just how far does the dial go?


  1. Adam Bombed, that was my exact thought too. If he was "holding back" even in the Zodic show, how much can he dial up to?
    I love this vid coz it show too different side of Adam. The dramatic, over the top Adam and the dialed down Adam. I guessed one of his charm is not how far he can dial up to. What excited me is the dramatic differences between both sides of his. I guessed he will continue to jump between two phases. Man, I can't wait to hear his "Time for Miracle" and his album. I guess I am still on this exciting ride. Thanks Adam Bombed for your write up.

  2. These videos bring back such great memories of Adam when he left AI and started his solo career. I agree that Adam seemed to be holding back on his vocals to not upstage Kris but I'll have to admit Kris is a good singer and they sound good together especially on "Crazy."

  3. Sharon, I like Kris's voice but I don't think he's a great singer, to me he often sounds too strained. They're very different types of singers though but still managed to make the duet sound good.

  4. I've not seen this footage before...What a contrast to the falsetto version of this song he performed at Up Right the warmth and low register vocals on this one...the man is incredibly versatile...

  5. Anonymous, I like this version but my favourite version of Crazy is still the Art 4 Life one for its sexiness. It played a major role in getting me hooked!