Sunday, 28 February 2010

Fantasy Sprung

WHOA! Fucking hell! Not quite what I was expecting... but Adam has sprung a wonderful surprise upon us with the most amazing acoustic renditions included in the set. This was the first time I didn't stay up for the stream and I'm feeling mild regret. What a morning it's been though, to wake up to these videos!

Before the concert, I'd been hoping that Adam would change up his look a little as he'd been wearing lots of dark colours under a trenchcoat. My wish was granted, with a new hairdo and a most fabulous costume. From the photos it looks like he had some blue dreads put in, instantly giving off a hippie vibe, especially with those tie-dye jeans. The full costume with the huge floaty sleeves and Zodiac vulture-feathers on his shoulders make him look like a desert-dwelling witch from a nomadic tribe, albeit of the glam variety. The first video I saw was WLL without these though, and my initial impression was of an inhabitant of a far-off exotic island, hair adorned with tropical flora and feathers, and lei around his neck. Or maybe that was just from the heat given out from that performance!

Here's my video selection so far in set order. All the videos are now here as an EMBEDDED PLAYLIST. I'll be updating it as better versions turn up.

I absolutely have to comment on the most incredible psychedelic arrangement and performance of WLL, which I think must be one of the sexiest things I've ever seen or heard. There's a lot that's reminiscent of Jim Morrison. There were no overt sexual gestures but what he achieved was purely with his voice and stage presence and was so sizzling hot. Whereas the previous renditions were pure sex of the sordid aggressive rip-your-clothes-off encounter, this one was a long slow hedonistic tripped-out throw-your-phone-away all-day love-in, teetering on the edge of blissful agony. His voice works you up and down, knowing when to stop you from boiling over but keeping you simmering, effortlessly stroking and teasing you into spasms of ecstasy. Whew! If I can manage to tear myself away, get my breath back and string together some coherent thoughts, I'll be back later.

Friday, 19 February 2010

DonorsChoose Live Chat

Watch the whole chat from start to finish, courtesy of AO:

To make things easier for you, I've summarised the video so you'll know where to go to in order to re-watch your favourite parts:

00:00 - 10:00
  • Who would be Adam's partner on the Amazing Race
  • What he plans to do with his tour jacket
  • His on vs off-stage persona
  • Helping up and coming artists
  • His favourite dessert
  • Assembling the band
  • What never fails to make him smile
  • What songs he'd like to cover on tour
  • His favourite thing about each band member
  • Which instrument he'd like to be expert at playing
  • How he writes songs
10:00 - 20:00
  • What other star sign Adam would be
  • Shooting a video for each song
  • Future American Idol appearances
  • How often he dyes his hair
  • The best and worst pick-up lines
  • His most memorable Burning Man experience
  • How it feels to have his songs sung back to him
  • The most difficult song to sing live
  • Whether he walks/talks/sings in his sleep
  • Fever lyrics
  • Going back to natural look/hair colour
  • The craziest thing to have happened on stage
20:00 - 30:00
  • Being in another reality show
  • The most interesting critique written about Adam's album
  • What he does when feeling insecure
  • Coconut drink 'plug'
  • Going back to his old apartment
  • Crushes on cartoon characters
  • What artists make him happy when he is sad
  • How Jewish he is
  • Whether he gets paid for photoshoots
  • 'Can't let you go' - new song on UK album
  • His cooking skills
  • Getting another tattoo
  • Which gadgets he can't live without
  • Advice he would give himself at ages 13, 18 and 21
30:00 - 40:00
  • How Allison and Kris influenced Adam on American Idol
  • How he feels about his image coming before the music
  • 'This is live, calm down, conspiracy theorists!'
  • 'Welcome to the jungle!' plant scene (34:00)
  • How the room-mates got picked on AI
  • Aesthetics he'd like to include in his music videos
  • Cheetos vs ramen
  • His drink of choice at an open bar
  • His favourite jewellery
  • How often he dyes his eyebrows
40:00 - 50:00
  • How to get more men to dance
  • What Adam would do during a zombie apocalypse
  • His strengths
  • Secret talents
  • His feelings towards female fans over 40
  • How he defines his eye and hair colour
  • Exercise regimes
  • His song 'Voodoo'
  • Why he didn't wear sunglasses during the group dance
  • 'Bonus round! This just in!' - questions to:
  • His thoughts about soulmates
50:00 - End
  • Icelandic artists
  • Whether Adam has seen ontd_ai
  • Setting up a fan club
  • An inappropriate question that he can't answer
  • Whether he will perform more covers/unreleased songs at upcoming gigs
  • His thoughts on sporks
  • What he thinks of plaid

It's a very insightful chat with great questions interspersed light snark and plenty of gif-making material. I noted that he not only compliments his fans for their resourcefulness but also at various points gives us gentle reminders not to get too crazy on him. Adam speaks very openly and I love the honesty and familiarity with which he addresses us. There's a load of info to digest, some of my picks for the most interesting are:
  • The band being a temporary one with Tommy initially auditioning for guitar, not bass
  • Adam's strong beliefs on the astrological make-up of the band
  • Wanting to cover 'Sweet Child O' Mine' and 'Enter Sandman'
  • How he uses melodies to emphasise certain lyrics in the songwriting process
  • Choosing songs because of their strong visual element
  • 'Can't Let You Go' being an indie/emo rock song with powerful vocals
  • Being averse to junk food but also not being a great cook
  • Kris being unhappy about being left to duet with Danny Gokey
  • His jewellery being very organised with dividers in his drawers
  • Psychology as a career path if he couldn't sing
  • 'Voodoo' being a dark industrial disco song with a hard electro beat and light breathy vocals
  • His lack of sunglasses during disco week's group dance was unintentional
  • He will be involved in setting up his new fan club, which Leila will probably run

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

I Heart Acoustic Adam

As much as I love all the performances from the album so far, one of the things that got me so excited about Adam in the first place was his ability to sing one song a myriad different ways. He's a Magical Remix Machine: input any song and he'll use those same lyrics and same basic melody to give you something that sounds much better. He even has a vast array of settings to choose from to suit your mood. I've been listening to the album songs since November so alternative arrangements is something I've been really looking forward to. For them to have considerable impact, the audience needs to already be familiar with the songs, which would be around about now.

Rather than embed each video separately and to save you from waiting for the page to load, I've embedded a playlist with the clips in set order.

Adam has the ability to re-invigorate and extend the life of those songs we've grown tired of, and as I'd grown a little tired of hearing 'Whataya Want From Me?' over and over on the publicity circuit, these acoustic versions came at a welcome time. His voice is so delicately light and silky, and each rendition is unique in melodic improvisations. As for the person blathering on the phone, rude and ungrateful bitch should've given her ticket to someone more deserving.

Who would've thought I'd be so thrilled to hear Mad World again after the 50+ different performances of the AI tour? This is a beautiful version with a nice change in 'I went to school' and a startling crescendo on 'Best I've ever had'. We've already heard an acoustic guitar version of Mad World during a corporate gig but this has a considerably different arrangement and a different feel. This is why I think Adam has longevity - as soon as things start to stagnate, our Magical Remix Machine gets to work and wows us over and over again.

Fever edit:

After hours of work all I got was out-of-synch audio and stuttering on this edit because my little laptop can't actually cope with such high resolution video. Well, I'm glad I can at least watch it on YouTube! Though not quite to the same extent as the Wild Idol gig, it's a pleasure to watch Adam increasingly let loose on stage with such a physical performance. It's all very OTT and hilarious at times when he acts out the lyrics. He's bursting with energy as he dances and shakes his way through the performance with stellar vocals and feel-good factor. What I find interesting is his reaction just after he finishes which you can see clearly in this video. He pauses for a moment with a stunned look on his face, perhaps slowly gauging and registering the audience reaction before switching out of performance mode with a big smile.

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Adam, Rock My World!

UPDATE 27/02/10: Added Improved Music Again.

Well I did tune in to the cellcast but soon gave up. It seems like it was the best concert yet judging by those twitter rumours going around and the available video. Our Wild Idol Adam was truly on fire. He seemed so uninhibited, liberally dishing out his improvisations. He was extra glittery, shimmering from head-to-toe No time to go through each one in detail, heck I haven't even finished Gridlock yet but here are the best videos so far:

(Click here for Whole Lotta Love camera lick video)

What a Session!

I'd been waiting for these for quite some time and when they came out, WOW! Just WOW! Adam's look is most reminiscent of his Santana performance at the AI finale, which I described as “...looked like a detective in a fabulous Glambert universe where the most serious crimes possible to commit, for which he was head of investigations, were crimes against fashion. Yes, I'd happily commit a fashion crime in order to get arrested by Adam before getting styled...”. This one is less sparkly and more utilitarian though, and I realised that it's rare we get to see Adam performing without a jacket on so we can see his lithe figure. The sound on these is much better than from any of the TV show performances and he's pitch perfect. One thing that I found a little annoying though, was the cameraman's fixation with Lisa. I don't have time at the moment to write about all of these individually, but Soaked - #%*^!!! That voice is truly a marvel.






Catching Up

I know it's been ages so I'm pleased you're still here. I thought I should write a catchup post summarising the past few weeks it as it doesn't look like I'll be able to write about everything I missed in detail before this latest wave of happenings. that'll teach me for going away!

Part of the problem of writing about the Adam world while I was away is that, unlike everything else on this site, I didn't feel the excitement and anticipation in real-time and as a result there's definitely something missing. I didn't go through the process of celebrating confirmed gigs, speculating during the drum-roll over things like songs, appearance and fashion stylings, and didn't get to share the experiences with you all as they happened. I also missed gauging the reactions and reading the positive media responses in the aftermath. That's something I need to keep up the obsession - it's no fun without you. Gorging my solitary self on the mountain of tasties in a short space of time meant that everything got blurred and I wasn't able to associate distinctive emotions or memories to each of the events. It's much better in smaller regular bites and that's why it was probably so easy to get hooked in the first place during AI's regular routine. This obsession is part choice, part addiction. When I came back after having gone cold turkey for so long, I could easily have chosen to be just a regular fan. What makes me a bit of a nutcase is the ethusiasm of the community, which I choose to continue to be a part of.

The highlights for me include the performances and a couple of interviews (Lyndsey Parker porch interview for the detailed chat about the music, Jessi Cruickshank's fun interview and game), though there seemed to be a shitload of them all going over the same old territory like the AMAs, being gay, Lady Gaga, meeting Oprah and meeting Madonna which all got rather tedious. It was annoying to spend such a long time listening to the same things over and over because they were so time-consuming but there were useful bits of info such as the possibility of Adam doing his first tour solo. And let's not forget his fashionista gig at the Grammys which he was a little too kind for and the Canadian TV appearances.

The first of the many Adam Lambert goodies that came along was the music video for Whataya Want From Me? for which I'd already been partially spoiled during the shooting.

The video to me is biographical and seems to represent the time around the AMA fallout but on a more personal level. He's letting us see a side that we don't see or even think about. Conveying the message of the song, Adam is pleading for patience and understanding as he sorts himself out. The colours and spaces we see Adam in are bleak and sombre. Adam is a joyless solitary figure in his cold sparsely furnished home that he hasn't been able to make comfortable, which tells us that his rapid rise to fame hasn't allowed him time to tend to it. The high walls of the garden resemble a fortress, furthering his isolation. He hasn't even had time to even look after himself or his heart, expressing anger, regret and frustration at the observer. When we see that, behind the contrasting performer and pap encounters, we feel sympathy and come to realise that it's not all glitz, glamour and smiles. Who the observer is has been left open to interpretation, but if it is his fans he brings us in closer. The last shot of a hint of a smile on getting into bed with him reassures us that everything will be OK and sums up his optimistic nature.

I would have liked to have seen something a little more abstract and less real, with Adam indulging in some elaborate costumes. I originally had in mind a variety like some of his Halloween ones, maybe a clown, a robot, an alien, a magician, perhaps one in drag. At the start we can't really see who it is and the camera pans to each one in a trippy and slightly frightening manner. It slows as the performances end to differing audience reactions and feelings from our entertainer. Then at each dressing room mirror we slowly see him emerging from under the make-up as the characters in their various guises converge, and so do their moods to reveal Adam at his vulnerable core. Well, I didn't get what I had imagined, but the video as it stands is beautifully shot with plenty of Adam camera time looking his best with a loud and clear message.

One of the first things that struck me about Adam's appearance on Oprah was how androgynous his hair and make-up was, making him look particularly pretty. He was charming during the interview. The emphasis was on him during the polished performances where the band were lowered from the stage platform. It was great to see the audience singing along.

This was my favourite of all the performances and such a joy to watch. Adam performing Strut aptly seemed very confident, giving off a rockstar vibe, dazzling us with his fun energy, his dancing and astonishing vocals. He commanded the stage like no other.