Thursday, 17 December 2009
We KNOW Adam Can Sang!
As soon as he got introduced (notice how Cat Deeley's face suddenly lit up on mentioning his name), I was scrambling to see what he looked like and it seemed to take a frustratingly long time to pan in from various wide-angle shots. After seeing all the photos of him dressed down in 'day clothes' on the various shows and hosting gigs, I yelped with delight that he'd dressed up for the occasion. The light grey suit was slim-fitting and was jazzed up a with a random dead black thing as a shoulder accoutrement. One of the first things that came to mind for some reason was a Bond villain, namely Blofeld with his cat. I half expected him, with a menacing grin to stroke it and it would twitch back to life. The button-down shirt was the one from the AMA red carpet, and the hairdo was an upswept asymmetrical fauxhawk. To give him that extra bit of edge, the look was completed with a metallic-looking glittery tie, fingerless leather gloves and spats on his feet. His makeup with the tear streak was a beautiful touch.
One of the things that struck me was the similarity to the AMA look and I think this was a clever move. Since the song has a very different vibe, he could've chosen a very different look to disassociate himself with the AMA performance, re-establishing himself with a different image, but I think the point was to stamp his identity even further into our consciousness. The fact that he came out looking similar says to me that he's owning that performance and and has no regrets. It's to confirm that, yes, it's the same person doing both performances even though they're very different, and range is an integral part of who Adam is as an artist. There are also some marked differences as well. Where he previously had vicious spikes adorning his shoulder, there's something quite mournful about the slightly pitiful remains of the twisted black 'corsage'. There's no aggression, and coupled with the tear stain the look suggests a vulnerable and tragic hero who has somewhat fallen from grace and is pleading for patience, fitting in perfectly with the song's narrative and real-life circumstance.
Leona didn't sound great earlier on in the evening, so I wasn't without concern about sound issues and held my breath for so long I almost fainted. But WOWOWOWOW! Fucking hell! That was by far the best vocal of WWFM yet! Those first few soft notes were very promising, delivered as Adam scanned the crowd before pulling out his earpiece. I loved the scrapey tone of 'afraid' that was missing from the recent renditions and was pleased that the sound mix was was much better and fuller. He was subtle with his expressions but did look straight at the camera with a knowing twitch of the eyebrow at 'But now'. The falsetto 'It's me' first debuted on Conan made a very welcome return. When he took the mic off the stand, about 50 different clip snippets of WLL from the tour flashed in front of my eyes and I wonder how much conscious effort it took to refrain from stroking it suggestively. I worried for a moment that he got caught short of breath at 'Please, please don't give in' but it was just a means of varying up the song. When Tommy pressed his back to Adam's I half expected a butt-grab, especially as I'd been looking at the looping gif from the FYE music video. But what we got was an even more delicious blink-and-you'll-miss-it sneaky smirk with a quick and naughty flick of the tongue. Oh Adam! Even on his best behaviour he can't resist a little mischief! We got to see the Lite Stix that Longineu was campaigning for, and did you notice Monte's huge platforms and Lisa's new hairdo? Well neither did I as it took me several watches too, but the whole ensemble looked fabulous. The bit of the song I'd been most nervous about was the high 'don't' after the synth break because he'd often been sharp on it but I found myself whooping and punching the air in exhaltation as he nailed it. When he let rip at the end, I was already celebrating and doing a happy dance at what had been a fantastic few days in the Adam world. The last shot was of a strained face as on the end of ToMT before the camera zoomed out. There were a few too many wide angle shots during the song for my liking, but right at the end when Adam, smiling and gracious, turned to acknowledge the band, I was transported all the way back to AI and felt like I was about to burst with pride. It had been a while since I'd last felt such a happy buzz after watching Adam. It was a beautiful performance which I loved.
This brought the focus back to Adam's undeniable talent and once-in-a-generation voice. Although his shoulder ornament is an amusing talking point and has taken some column inches, there is absolutely no slack to hand to the critics. It was the most perfect vocal of WWFM to date and he certainly stepped it up and delivered on the right occasion. He worked the stage like an ex-lover confidently dressed to the nines, bringing everyone touched by his aura onto their knees and eliciting schadenfreude-loaded glances directed at ABC. The tease painfully wrung out of ABC nothing but regret. This was the ideal high-profile follow-up which has successfully exorcised the demons of the AMA fall-out. Maybe that's what those shoulder remnants are.
Bravo Adam & band! *Standing ovation*
I was still buzzing with excitement and wide awake when Chelsea Lately was on but unfortunately couldn't find a stream. She seemed to be rushing the interview along and I would have preferred if she'd done a little less talking. I loved Adam's sarcasm when dealing with the erroneous assumption that gay people automatically find other gay people attractive. It's rather ridiculous when you think of the straight equivalent. Adam was charming throughout and I was pleased that he was so comfortable and open talking about his acid trip.