Friday, 18 September 2009
Twisting the Dial
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.
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):
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?